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Europe: Stocks forge ahead at open
[ LONDON] European stock markets won ground at the start of trade on Wednesday, as investors contemplated US President Donald Trump's speech to Congress overnight.
Many traders focused also on the rising dollar after two top Federal Reserve officials suggested US interest rates could rise this month.
In opening deals in London, the British capital's benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies gained 0.5 per cent at 7,297.73 points.
In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.1 per cent to 4,897.48 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 bumped 0.7 per cent higher to 11,915.03 compared with Tuesday's closing levels.
"The market has a bit more of a spring in its step this Wednesday, a relatively calm showing from Donald Trump seemingly reassuring investors," noted Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
President Trump's much-anticipated address to both houses of Congress was short on detail but provided enough to keep traders mainly upbeat.
The tycoon pledged US$1 trillion in public-private infrastructure spending and "massive" tax cuts for the middle class, but he did not say how any of it would be paid for.