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Europe: Shares climb, RWE extends rally

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European shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by expectations of new economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB), while utility RWE outperformed for the second day in a row.

[LONDON] European shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by expectations of new economic stimulus measures from the European Central Bank (ECB), while utility RWE outperformed for the second day in a row.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index and the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 both advanced by 0.2 per cent.

European stocks have risen to their highest level in around three months, helped by prospects of new measures from the ECB when the ECB meets on Thursday.

Investors are pricing in a deposit rate cut and an increase in the size, scope and length of the trillion-euro bond-buying programme at the ECB meeting, and this has put pressure on the euro whose weakness has in turn given European exporters such as carmakers and luxury goods stocks a lift.

RWE, which had surged nearly 17 per cent in the previous session on plans to split off parts of its business, rose another 2 per cent on Wednesday as analysts at HSBC and Raymond James upgraded their views on the stock.

However, Zodiac Aerospace fell 3.8 per cent after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "outperform".

REUTERS