|European markets open higher before interest rate calls
Europe's main stock markets opened with solid gains on Thursday as traders await the outcomes of monetary policy meetings being held by the ECB and Bank of England.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 0.54 percent to 6,492.66 points.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.55 percent to 9,166.46 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index grew 0.42 percent to stand at 4,135.17 compared with Wednesday's closing levels.
At 1200 GMT, the Bank of England announces the outcome of its latest monthly meeting, followed by a statement and press conference by the European Central Bank on its own gathering.
Markets are waiting to see if the BoE governor Mark Carney will alter guidance on lifting Britain's record-low interest rate.
The Monetary Policy Committee is widely expected to keep the BoE's main interest rate at a record-low level of 0.50 percent.
It is widely predicted also to maintain quantitative easing at 375 billion pounds, opting against following the US Federal Reserve in tapering stimulus.
In Frankfurt, the ECB's regular monthly policy meeting comes amid speculation that weaker-than-expected eurozone inflation data could prompt a cut in interest rates in the near term.
It already pared back its central "refi'' refinancing rate to a new all-time low of 0.25 percent in November. The ECB's latest decision is due at 12:45 GMT. --AFP