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LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - European stock markets rose in morning trade on Thursday after sources told Reuters the European Central Bank was discussing launching a programme of asset-backed security purchases at its ongoing policy meeting.
People familiar with the discussions said plans to launch an asset-backed securities (ABS) and covered bond purchase programme worth up to 500 billion euros were on the table at the meeting.
Assuming there was no serious opposition, the ECB could begin buying the assets this year, they said. Most analysts had expected it to take at least until next year to make the required changes to the repackaged debt market.
"If it turned out to be true, the market would be delighted to see the ECB move in the direction of ABS purchases", Chris Beauchamp, a strategist at IG, said.
The euro fell to a session low of $1.31195.
A month-long march higher for European and Asian stock markets had stalled earlier on Thursday on concerns the bank would do nothing immediate at the September meeting to address a deteriorating economic outlook. (Reporting by Patrick Graham, Anirban Nag, and Francesco Canepa; editing by Jamie McGeever)