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Europe: Stocks climb at open
[LONDON] European stock markets rose at the start of trading on Thursday, with investors awaiting a key meeting of the European Central Bank.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index edged up 0.04 per cent to 6,916.98 points, also before the Bank of England gives its latest interest rate decision.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 advanced 0.33 per cent to 11,390.38 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris gained 0.24 per cent to 4,929.04 compared with Wednesday's close.
The euro meanwhile hit a new 11-year low against the dollar on Thursday as investors waited for the European Central Bank to announce details of its bond-purchase programme.
With the ECB's decision-making council meeting on Thursday, President Mario Draghi is set to unveil details of the bank's 1.1 trillion euro (S$1.68 trillion) quantitative-easing plan, due to be launched this month to ward off deflation.
The ECB's stance is in stark contrast to the Federal Reserve's plan to exit crisis support, having ended its asset-purchasing plan in October. It is now planning to raise interest rates this year.