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Europe: Stocks finish higher on Thursday

[NEW YORK] European stocks rallied after Reuters reported that the euro's rapid gains are worrying a growing number of European Central Bank policymakers, raising the chance asset purchases will be phased out only slowly. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 0.77 per cent.

The euro, which hit a more than 2-1/2-year high against the dollar on Tuesday, slipped on the Reuters report, before recovering to trade up 0.18 per cent at US$1.1902.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, weakened after the US inflation data. The index was 0.21 per cent lower on the day at 92.686, having risen as high as 93.347.

The weaker dollar and continued security concerns related to North Korea helped gold prices rise.

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Spot gold was up 0.83 per cent at US$1,319.22 an ounce.

In the bond market, benchmark 10-year US Treasury notes were up 4/32 in price to yield 2.133 per cent, down from 2.145 per cent on Wednesday.

Trading volumes were relatively low, however, with some investors reluctant to buy Treasuries given yields are near their lowest since November.

Gasoline futures surged 13.5 per cent as almost a quarter of U.S. refining capacity remained offline due to Tropical Storm Harvey and traders scrambled to reroute millions of barrels of fuel.

US crude settled up US$1.27 or 2.76 per cent, at US$47.23 a barrel and Brent traded up US$1.45 or 2.85 per cent at US$52.31.