European shares hit three-month high, focus on ECB

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - European shares climbed to a three-month high on Thursday, mirroring gains on Wall Street and in Asia, with investors betting that the European Central Bank will extend its asset purchase programme after a policy meeting later in the day.

The central bank, which aims to boost stubbornly weak price growth, will announce its main policy decisions at 1245 GMT, followed by ECB President Mario Draghi’s news conference at 1330 GMT.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index advanced for a fourth straight session and was up 0.2 percent by 0823 GMT after climbing to its highest level since early September. The index has gained 2.7 percent so far this week and is on track for its best weekly gain since July.

Miners were also in demand, with the regional index rising 0.2 percent to its highest level since mid-2015, after metals prices rose on a softer U.S. dollar and strong Chinese commodities import figures. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Louise Ireland)