European stocks rally as ECB says committed to full QE plan

miércoles 15 de abril de 2015 12:28 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct to highest since 2000

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By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - European stocks rallied on Wednesday, with one regional benchmark hitting a level not seen since late 2000, after the European Central Bank said it remained committed to its full asset-buying programme to revive the euro zone economy.

Last month, the ECB embarked on a money-printing programme, which it has said will last until at least September 2016. The plan has helped fuel a sharp rally in European stocks while pushing the euro lower, a boon for European exporters.

"Our focus will be on the full implementation of our monetary policy measures," ECB President Mario Draghi said.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.6 percent higher at 1,650.15 points, after hitting 1,653.85 points, a level not seen for almost 15 years.

The index has surged 21 percent this year, strongly outpacing Wall Street, as investors bet the ECB programme will support the region's economic recovery and that corporate profits will rise.

"The effect from the ECB's quantitative easing is massive. With the drop in the euro and the drop in financing costs, there's a major upside potential for corporate margins in the euro zone," AXA Investment Managers' global head of multi asset investments, Serge Pizem, said.   Continuación...