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Europe: Stocks open higher before expected BoE cut

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[LONDON] Europe's stock markets advanced Thursday as investors awaited an expected interest rate cut from the Bank of England.

In initial trade, London's FTSE 100 index gained 0.1 per cent to 6,643.10 points.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 added 0.6 per cent to 10,234.14 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.5 per cent to 4,344.18.

"Today is the day markets widely expect the Bank of England to cut interest rates to fresh lows of 0.25 per cent," said economist Ana Thaker at trading firm PhillipCapital UK.

Market voices on:

"Whether this happens and is accompanied by further monetary stimulus remains to be seen."

The announcement, due at 1100 GMT after the British central bank's latest monetary policy meeting, would take interest rates to their lowest level in the BoE's 322-year history.

The bank had flagged last month that it might deliver an interest rate cut in August in response to the shock EU exit referendum - but policymakers did not signal the precise size and nature of any stimulus measures.

Asian equities also climbed Thursday, following a positive lead from Wall Street, as investors looked ahead to the BoE rate call and the release of key US jobs data.