(RTTNews) - French stocks were modestly higher on Thursday as investors awaited the outcome of Mario Draghi's final policy meeting at the helm of the European Central Bank and his press conference later today.
No policy changes are expected after the ECB launched new stimulus measures just last month.
The day's economic reports proved to be a mixed bag, with data released by Markit Economics showing that the region's economy remained close to stagnation at the start of Q4.
However, France's private sector expanded at a faster pace at the start of the fourth quarter. The composite output index rose more-than-expected to 52.6 in October from 50.8 in September. The expected reading was 51.0.
The services Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 52.9 versus 51.1 in September, beating forecasts. The factory PMI rose to 50.5 in October from 50.1 in September.
The benchmark CAC 40 was up 24 points, or 0.42 percent, at 5,676.95 after closing 0.1 percent lower the previous day.
Automaker Peugeot climbed 1.6 percent after stronger sales of luxury cars and higher profits in its van business helped shore up Daimler's third-quarter profits.
Industrial gas giant Air Liquide dropped half a percent despite the company posting solid third-quarter results.
Likewise, energy management firm Schneider Electric edged down slightly despite the company reporting a rise in Q3 revenue and backing its 2019 guidance.
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