European Shares Rally As Commodities Surge On Weaker Dollar


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( - European stocks hit two-week highs on Thursday, with mining and energy stocks among the biggest gainers, as the dollar drifted deeper into negative territory on expectations that the Federal Reserve will hold off raising interest rates until December.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen
offered an upbeat assessment of the economic outlook on Wednesday, but reiterated a cautious approach to future rate increases, citing sluggish business investment and low inflation.

The BOJ's new policy measures announced on Wednesday and the dovish tilt from the Federal Reserve spurred expectations that global central banks will press ahead with loose monetary policies for some more time.

Commodity-related stocks were among the biggest gainers, with Anglo American
, BHP Billiton, Glencore, Fresnillo, Rio Tinto, Total SA and BP Plc climbing 2-5 percent.

Banks also traded mostly higher, with Barclays, Standard Chartered, Commerzbank, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale rising 1-2 percent.

Danish shipping and oil firm A.P. Moller-Maersk gained 1 percent after it has decided to split itself into two companies focused on transport and energy.

Belgian molecular diagnostics developer MDxHealth soared 11 percent after upgrading its revenue forecast.

Nokia shares advanced 1.5 percent. The Finnish telecommunications network company has launched its public buy-out offer for all the securities of Alcatel-Lucent that it does not own.

Banco BPI rallied 3.5 percent after Spain'sCaixabank raised its BPI bid price to 1.134 euros per share.

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson rose about 2 percent on reports that it plans to end all of its manufacturing in the country.

In economic releases, a gauge of French manufacturing confidence rose to 103 in September from 101 in August, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed today. The score was expected to remain unchanged at 101.

Separately, the latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that British manufacturers are expecting production to accelerate rapidly in months ahead.

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Referenced Symbols: 580001 , ALU , BCS , BNP , BP

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