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European Stocks Rise as ECB Holds Rates

By Investors Hub

European stocks are moving higher as traders digest the European Central Bank?s decision to leave its key interest rates and asset purchases unchanged. The ECB reiterated that rates will remain at their present levels well past the life of the stimulus.

While the French CAC 40 Index has climbed by 0.5 percent, the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are up by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.

In economic news, survey data from market research group GfK showed that German consumer confidence is set to strengthen in February on strong economic and income expectations.

The forward-looking consumer sentiment index rose by 0.2 points to 11.0 in February. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.8.

Nordic bank Nordea has moved notably lower after its fourth quarter operating profit failed to meet market expectations.

Clariant shares have also plunged after SABIC bought a 25 percent stake in the Swiss specialty chemicals company.

Germany’s Software AG has tumbled after its fourth-quarter net income declined 7 percent from last year.

Meanwhile, lender Close Brothers Group has jumped in London after reporting an increase in first-half profits amid improving market conditions.

Diageo has also advanced after reporting a 4.2 percent rise in organic net sales in the half-year ended December, beating forecasts.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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