European stock markets traded higher Friday, helped by a supportive tone from the European Central Bank and more positive quarterly corporate earnings. The ECB kept its very accommodative monetary policy in place on Thursday, maintaining its benchmark interest rate at 0% as well as its 1.85 trillion euro asset-purchase scheme, while also tying its new forward guidance on interest rates more closely to inflation, suggesting they aren't likely to rise anytime soon. This update suggests the ECB is now one of the more dovish members of the central bank club, likely supporting the recovery the stock market has made from Monday’s rout.
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Additionally, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,794.10/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1784.