- ECB's Draghi addresses policy stance
- Fed's Bullard paints positive US outlook
- US durable goods orders rise
- German business confidence remains at seven-year high
FTSE 100: 0.01%
CAC 40: 0.94%
FTSE MIB: 1.37%
IBEX 35: 1.50%
Stoxx 600: 0.72%
European stocks gained following positive remarks from central bankers and the release of better-than-expected US and German data.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said the benefits of accommodative monetary policy should be increasingly felt throughout the euro-area as the economy recovers.
Speaking in Paris yesterday, he reiterated the ECB stands ready to act if necessary should the euro-area take a turn for the worse amid risks of subdued prices.
ECB governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann also said yesterday that quantitative easing could not be ruled out to combat deflation.
The ECB will hold its policy meeting next week.
Markets were also reacting to comments from Federal Reserve official James Bullard, who said the US jobless rate will fall below 6% this year, compared with the 6.7% rate registered in February.
US durable goods, German business confidence
Orders for durable goods in the US jumped by 2.2% in February to a seasonally adjusted $229.4bn, according to data from the Commerce Department, surprising analysts who had expected a rise of just 0.8%.
German consumer confidence remained at a seven-year high, GfK revealed today. The forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator was 8.5 points in April, in line with March, when it reached its highest point since January 2007.
In Italy, ISTAT´s consumer confidence moved up in March to 101.7, after a print of 97.7 a month before.
Separately, the country´s statistics office revealed Italian retail sales were flat in seasonally adjusted terms in January.
Obama addresses Crimea crisis in Brussels
US President Barack Obama was due to speak in Brussels today, after the close of trading.
White House officials say Obama's address has taken on a renewed focus following Russia's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.
The turmoil prompted the president's speechwriters to rewrite notes they had expected to focus on US-European relations.
Multimedia Polska plans biggest IPO since December
Multimedia Polska SA owners are looking to sell a 49% stake in Poland's third-biggest cable TV operator by the end of June. Multimedia will return to public trading after its owners delisted it from the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2011. It would mark central Europe's largest initial public offering since December.
Standard Life was a top riser after agreeing to buy asset management business Ignis Asset Management for £390m.
Lloyds Banking Group declined after the UK government sold a stake in the lender.
Societe Generale edged higher after France's second largest bank said it has postponed a sale of additional Tier 1 bonds due to the "imminent publication" of a ratings report
Airbus Group gained after Les Echos reported it is extending its partnership with Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
Mediaset SpA advanced after the broadcaster, controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, posted a return to profit for 2013.
The euro dropped 0.29% to $1.3786.
Brent crude futures fell $0.225 to $106.750 per barrel in ICE trading.