European shares buoyed by China data

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European shares saw modest early gains on Thursday after more evidence of improving economic conditions in China, though investors were cautious before a policy decision from the European Central Bank later in the session.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,169.34 by 10:08 SA time, extending the previous session's 0.7 percent advance, boosted by miners following strong trade data from top metals consumer China.

But gains looked set to be limited ahead of the ECB's interest rate decision, due at 14:45 Sa time, with a news conference from ECB President Mario Draghi at 15:30 SA time.

“While we may have a positive start, that will be tempered by a little bit of caution ahead of (ECB President Mario) Draghi's press conference this afternoon,” Michael Hewson, senior analyst at CMC Markets, said.

“We're not expecting him to move on policy, but what Mr Draghi might have to say could be of interest with respect to possible interest rate cuts further down the line.” - Reuters


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