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05.03.2015 17:00

European stocks close: stocks closed higher on comments by the ECB President Mario Draghi

Stock indices closed higher on comments by the ECB President Mario Draghi. The European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said at the press conference on Thursday that the central bank will start its 60 billion euro-a-month bond purchases on March, 9. He noted that the ECB will buy euro-dominated public sector securities in the secondary market, and it will also continue to purchase asset-backed securities and covered bonds.

The ECB upgraded its growth estimate to 1.5% for 2015, up from 1% in December last year. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to be 1.9% in 2016 and 2.1% in 2017.

The ECB downgraded its inflation forecast for this year to 0%, down from its previous inflation forecast of 0.7%, but upgraded the 2016 forecast to 1.5% from 1.3%.

The ECB released its interest decision today. The central bank kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.05%.

German seasonal adjusted factory orders plunged 3.9% in January, missing expectations for a 0.8% decrease, after a 4.4% rise in December. December's figure was revised up from a 4.2% gain.

The Bank of England's (BoE) kept its interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and its asset purchase program unchanged at £375 billion. This decision was widely expected.

Analysts expect that the BoE will start to raise interest rate later in early 2016.

The U.K. Halifax house price index declined 0.3% in February, after a 1.9% gain in January. January's figure was revised up from a 0.3% rise.

Indexes on the close:

Name Price Change Change %

FTSE 100 6,961.14 +41.90 +0.61 %

DAX 11,504.01 +113.63 +1.00 %

CAC 40 4,963.51 +46.16 +0.94 %

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