Global shares gain as European Central Bank meeting in focus

They were lifted as oil prices held the near 2% gains they had made the previous session when falling USA crude inventories gave the market a lift ahead of a key OPEC meeting next week.

Consumer optimism may struggle to sustain itself in the coming months as inflationary pressure continues to outpace wage growth, with momentum in the wider economy likely to stall as a result of weaker spending.

Early movers in the Asian regions have found gains thus far, with other key markets expected to join in the up move.

'Perhaps the bigger story was that Draghi refused to say that the strengthening euro was a concern, which will allow for more currency strength, ' she said.

"The key sentence to watch out for was and still is "the Governing Council stands ready to increase the program in terms of size and/or duration", Brzeski said in an email. It has been interesting to note the selling of the euro ahead of the event, a clear indication that the market has been paring back some expectation of hawkishness from the European Central Bank.

Kerim Derhalli, chief executive of Invstr, said of the announcement: "While the possibility of an unlikely interest rate hike is slowly growing, it's no surprise that Mario Draghi has opted to keep European Central Bank rates unchanged for now".

"We were unanimous in setting no precise date for when to discuss changes in the future", ECB President Mario Draghi said at a news conference after the deferment was announced.

The single currency initially fell to $1.1479 against the greenback after the European Central Bank unanimously voted to hold interest rates at 0.00 percent and said that it remains poised to step in and increase the "size and/or duration" of its stimulus purchase, should the economic outlook take a downturn.

Mr Draghi told a press conference: "We're not there yet". Thursday's dovish message was another example of that.

Ultra-low interest rates and a huge programme of bond-purchasing, or quantitative easing - effectively pumping money into the economy - were put in place when the economy was in a much more fragile state.

"There's always risk" surrounding the central bank's possible signals, Anderson said.

GBP Weakens on Brexit Talk Roadblock as French Claim; "We Want Our Money Back " French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has evoked the spirit of Margaret Thatcher after telling the United Kingdom "we want our money back" in the European Parliament.

However, he insisted that the shifting of money market rates could be a "multi-year process".

The 10-year United Kingdom gilt was at 1.2037% from 1.1934%.

The market reaction echoed the so-called "taper tantrum" that followed remarks by then U.S. Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke in May, 2013.

Asian equities rose to the highest level in nearly 10 years as the euro weakened and US dollar remained near its one-year low on hopes the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan will keep policies supportive amid concerns over the pace of reforms in the U.S.

  • Wendy Palmer