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ECB to the rescue

European Stock Markets moved higher on Thursday morning as around 60 members of the Stoxx 600 (SXXP) reported their revenues today. The FTSE 100 swung between gains and losses amid expectations and fell finally 20.28 points (0.37%) to 5478.04 in early trading.

Among the British companies was also European’s largest oil company Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB), which became the biggest faller on the FTSE this morning, reporting a sharper than expected drop in profits. The multinational oil and gas company reported a decline in revenue from $8bn to $6bn in the second Quarter of the year in response to lower oil prices and Shell’s shares tumbled as much as 3.84%.

Lloyd’s Banking Group (LLOY.L) released a pretax loss to £439; setting aside another £ 700mn to compensate customers for miss-sold insurance products (PPI). Lloyds said its underlying profit increased by £715 million to £1,064 in the first half, and shares closed down 0.5%.

More optimistically were the results of the company ITV, posting a 10% external revenue growth and emerged as the best performer on the FTSE100 in early trading. Shares of the media company jumped up 7.14% after ITV had announced the acquisition of a Norwegian production company Mediacircus and the formation of a strategic production partnership with Israeli broadcaster Reshet.

The major shift in sentiment came after the ECB President Mario Draghi, speaking in London, pledged “to do whatever is necessary to protect the euro-zone from collapse” and the European Central bank had “no taboos” over what it could or could not do. European Stocks surged on Draghi’s statement with money flowing into risk assets and markets with the FTSE100, CAC40 and DAX, climbing 1.39% to 5574, 3.64% to 3193 and 2.53% to 6568 respectively during the day. The biggest beneficiary was however the stock markets of Spain and Italy, which were both lifted more than 5%.

There was also good news from the U.S., where application for jobless benefits decreased by 35,000 to 353,000 (forecasted 380,000) during the last week. The Dow Jones rose 1.40% and the S&P 500 leaped 1.36% during the trading day.

European Markets closed up mostly in positive territory with the FTSE100 higher by 1.36% at 5573.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James .

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