European markets open steady ahead of ECB, BoE meetings

By Dow Jones newswires

On Thursday, however, attention shifted away from geopolitics and toward monetary policy, with forecasters split on whether ECB President Mario Draghi will announce further measures — even quantitative easing — to stimulate Europe's sluggish economic recovery, or delay any action to assess the full impact of measures announced in June. "We don't expect the ECB to announce a broad-based asset purchase program at today's meeting," currency strategists at BNP Paribas write in a note.

Back in equity markets, Standard Life PLC was the biggest gainer of the day on the pan-European index, with shares surging more than 9 per cent following news that Canada's Manulife Financial Corp. , the country's biggest life insurer, has agreed to acquire the Canadian operations of the U. K. firm for about 4 billion Canadian dollars ($US3. 67 billion).

The Bank of England, meanwhile, is also seen leaving key interest rates on hold at 0. 5 per cent even though two policy makers pushed for an immediate rise to 0. 75 per cent in August, minutes last month showed.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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