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Stock indices traded higher on speculation on news the ECB Executive Board has proposed to purchase 50 billion euros in assets a month through the end of 2016.
Analysts expect that the ECB President Mario Draghi will announce tomorrow a 550 billion-euro bond-buying programme.
The U.K. unemployment rate declined to 5.8% in the September to November quarter from 6.0% in the previous three months to August, beating expectations for a decline to 5.9%.
The claimant count decreased by 29,700 people in December, exceeding expectations for a drop of 24,200 people, after a decrease of 29,600 people in November. November's figure was revised from a decline of 26,900.
Average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, climbed by 1.8% in the September to November period, missing expectations for a 1.9% increase, up from a 1.6% rise in the previous three months.
Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, rose by 1.7% in the September to November period, in line with expectations, after a 1.4% increase in the previous three months.
The Bank of England released its last meeting minutes. All members voted to keep the central bank's monetary policy unchanged. During the five previous months, two members, Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale, voted to raise interest rates to 0.75% from 0.5%.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,728.04 +107.94 +1.63%
DAX 10,299.23 +42.10 +0.41%
CAC 40 4,484.82 +38.80 +0.87%
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