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Irish and European stocks continue to ‘tread water’

The benchmark ISEQ Overall Index closed up just 4.84 points, or 0.1pc, at 4,827.36 as gains in bookmaker Paddy Power and insurer FBD offset declines in C&C and Ryanair.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped less than 0.1pc to 342.75 at the close of trading in London, after climbing as much as 0.4pc and falling as much as 0.2pc. The benchmark gauge has rebounded 5.5pc from a four-month low on August 8 as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi signaled policy makers are ready to increase stimulus to combat low inflation.

The ECB meets to discuss monetary policy tomorrow. The euro fell against the dollar yesterday on concerns that the ECB will begin printing money to take other action.

“The European market is currently being supported by rumors of possible stimulus from the ECB,” said Tobias Britsch at Meriten Investment Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. “There’s a decent number of people in the market who think that the ECB will do more. The problem is that this takes us back to political markets. After the nice rebound we had since August, I would stay calm, listen to Draghi carefully, but wouldn’t take a big exposure before the meeting.”

National benchmark indexes rose in 11 of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX gained 0.3pc, while the UK’s FTSE 100 climbed less than 0.1pc. France’s CAC 40 slipped less than 0.1pc.

Brokers’ upgrades of European companies sent some shares up. Vallourec climbed 5.1pc after UBS advised investors to buy the stock. Tenaris, another steel-pipe producer, gained 1.4pc after the Swiss brokerage raised its rating.

Air France-KLM advanced 1.9pc after Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey told ‘Le Figaro’ that domestic mid-haul losses will be about €120m this year, or half of what they were in 2012.

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