European stocks rose higher as investors speculated that President Mario Draghi may signal the possibility of further European Central Bank stimulus at its meeting today.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2 percent to 350.98 at 9:34 a.m. in London. European shares have rebounded 14 percent from their post-Brexit June low, boosted by speculation that central banks will keep monetary policy accommodative. While Draghi is expected to leave interest rates unchanged, most economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast he will extend his bond-buying program before the end of the year.
“Rather than waiting for concrete measures from Draghi, this time we’re all looking for any signals regarding what more could be done if needed,” said Alan Higgins, chief investment officer at Coutts & Co. in London. “That means whether the ECB could extend the period of QE, any word about buying more government bonds in the periphery and whether they can include bank bonds in the program. It’s all about clues today.”
European shares yesterday rose to near its highest level since April and Germany’s DAX Index became the first major European equity measure to erase its annual decline, as a weaker euro fueled a rally among exporters.
Italian banks led lenders higher today, with Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA rising 3.1 percent after Il Messaggero reported that its planned capital increase could be postponed until next year.