European shares rise in early trade; ECB eyed

LONDON, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose early on
Thursday, building on strong gains in the previous session, with
investors expecting the European Central Bank to announce new
measures to tackle the euro zone debt crisis.

At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,093.71 points. The index
rose 2.1 percent on Wednesday, its biggest one-day percentage
gain in three months.

Heavyweight miners were among the gainers on Thursday as
metals prices rose, helped by a weaker dollar. Anglo American
(AAL.L: ), BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) rose between
1.5 percent and 1.7 percent.

At 1245 GMT, the European Central Bank is likely to say it
is keeping a key interest rate on hold.

Also on Thursday, the ECB, under pressure to act to help the
euro zone contain a crippling debt crisis, is expected to
announce new anti-crisis measures, such as expanding its
government bond buying or the size of the European Financial
Stability Facility.

“The most important point is the credibility of these (the
euro zone peripheral) countries and for them to become fiscally
sustainable in the relevant time horizon, and there’s a parallel
banking system issue, as we’ve seen in Ireland,” said Bernard
McAlinden, investment strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

“The debt crisis is the only thing that is stopping the
market breaking higher. The economic data from the States is
increasingly reassuring.”

(Reporting by Brian Gorman; editing by Simon Jessop)

European shares rise in early trade; ECB eyed