European Central Bank keeps stimulus pledge despite stronger growth

Euro zone government bond yields fell on Monday

European Central Bank's Draghi to tiptoe to stimulus exit

In short, like other central bankers before him, Mr. Draghi is trying to prepare the market for an exit without disrupting markets; usually, that is impossible.

Rather than discuss the possibility of tapering, Draghi was determined to avoid laying the foundations for such a move, Erlam said.

ING's Chief Economist Carsten Brzeski said following the announcement that Draghi should be expected to emphasize the continued presence of the European Central Bank.

According to IG's opening calls, the FTSE 100 will start the session 0.17 percent higher at 7,444 points.

Mounting doubts over the ability of the Trump administration to deliver on any of its promised reforms have helped to shore up the Euro US Dollar exchange rate this week.

'Perhaps the bigger story was that Draghi refused to say that the strengthening euro was a concern, which will allow for more currency strength, ' she said.

FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed said: "The euro has already appreciated by three per cent since Draghi hinted on June 27 that the European Central Bank could adjust its policy tools as economic prospects improve".

If this afternoon's jobless claims figures prove positive the US Dollar could find further support, as signs of sustained tightness within the labour market would offer encouragement to Federal Reserve policymakers.

Last month, Draghi had used an European Central Bank forum in Sintra, Portugal, to signal that as the Eurozone economy improves, policy adjustment would be necessary.

The euro was near a 14-month high as ECB head Mario Draghi's 1230 GMT post-meeting news conference approached, where the main question will be how close the bank is to winding down its 2 trillion euro stimulus programme.

But markets have begun the day on the front foot ahead of today's meeting.

The DAX of Germany dropped 0.04 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 0.32 percent. Instead, it led investors to believe that the bank was about to tighten its policy - a misunderstanding, the ECB later claimed.

U.S. stocks are on the rise at the open, building on gains yesterday and as oil firmed. The FTSE 100 of the United Kingdom gained 0.77 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.03 percent.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had spoken not too long ago of tax reforms being delivered before the end of the year, so while the Dollar is on the back foot and the economy is growing at a snail's pace, compared with the days of old, it may be a risky game to bet against the Dollar and completely write-off the U.S administration, which has a long way to go.

Among "mid-cap" stocks, Sports Direct (SPD) jumped 7.5% to 323.3p, despite the sports retailer reporting a 58.7% fall in full-year profits, as investors were buoyed by a brighter-than-expected outlook.

"Inflation is not where we want it to be and where it should be", he said.

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