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Europe: Shares extend rally


[PARIS] European shares inched higher in early trade on Wednesday, gaining ground for the fifth session in a row, lifted by expectations the European Central Bank is about to launch a quantitative easing programme to boost the region's economy.

At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 per cent at 1,425.94 points.

ASML NV featured among the top gainers, up 4.6 per cent after the world's second largest maker of semiconductor production equipment posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.