European stocks rally ahead of ECB meeting set to keep policy loose

miércoles 15 de abril de 2015 06:47 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, hits fresh 2000 high

* Alcatel shares fall back as Nokia unveils bid details

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - European stocks rallied on Wednesday, with one regional benchmark hitting a level not seen since late 2000, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting at which the bank is expected to affirm its loose monetary stance.

Shares in France's Alcatel-Lucent dropped 13 percent, slipping back from its sharp rally on Tuesday as rival Nokia unveiled the details of its all-share takeover offer for Alcatel, which values it at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion).

Shares in resource-related companies rallied, bouncing back from a recent drop, after Chinese figures came in in-line with expectations.

Data showed gross domestic product (GDP) grew an annual 7.0 percent in the first quarter, slowing from 7.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. While matching the median forecast in a Reuters poll, some analysts said it seemed stronger than data on the components of growth suggested.

Rio Tinto was up 1.6 percent and BHP Billiton up 2.1 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.8 percent at 1,652.13 points.   Continuación...