European shares inch higher with eyes on ECB

(Reuters) – European shares edged higher on Thursday, with investors awaiting signs of more stimulus from the European Central Bank in the face of a strong euro, although it is expected to keep its policy unchanged.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose just 0.2%, as traders stayed away from making big bets ahead of the policy statement.

Investors will be focused on commentary from ECB President Christine Lagarde, who will address a surging euro amid an economic recovery losing steam and anaemic inflation expectations.

The rate-sensitive European banks sector index .SX7P was down 0.2%, while travel and leisure stocks .SXTP bounced 0.7% following steep declines in the previous session.

Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL) rose 0.9% after it agreed to sell a 50% stake in two U.S. offshore wind power development projects to energy major BP (BP.L) for $1.1 billion. BP shares fell 1.0%.


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