European stocks rise on earnings optimism, hopes of dovish ECB

The ECB is all but certain to promise an even longer period of stimulus

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

European stocks extended gains for a third straight session on Thursday, as signs of a strong earnings season and expectations that the European Central Bank will stick to a dovish policy stance bolstered market sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.5 per cent by 0714 GMT. The index closed 1.7 per cent higher on Wednesday, recovering fully from a sharp selloff earlier this week.

Sweden-based private equity firm EQT jumped 9.5 per cent to the top of Stoxx 600 after reporting upbeat first-half earnings.

Swiss engineering company ABB climbed 2.3 per cent to hit its highest level since November 2007 after it doubled its full-year sales outlook.

Consumer goods giant Unilever Plc slid 4.0 per cent after it cut its full-year operating margin forecast due to surging commodity costs.

Euro zone stocks rose 0.7 per cent ahead of the ECB’s policy decision, due later in the day, when it is all but certain to promise an even longer period of stimulus to make good on its commitment to boost inflation. – Reuters