September 3, 2012 / 7:15 AM / 7 years ago

European shares tick higher as ECB eyed

LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - European shares ticked higher on Monday, modestly extending gains from the previous session, with trade likely to be muted ahead of this week’s key meeting of the European Central Bank, and with Wall Street closed for a public holiday on Monday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,084.40 by 0713 GMT, having ended 0.5 percent higher on Friday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept the door open for further stimulus if needed.

The market’s focus is now squarely on the ECB’s meeting on Thursday, with investors hopeful ECB President Mario Draghi will offer some details about the bank’s bond-buying scheme to lower borrowing costs of countries such as Spain and Italy.

“It’s all on hold for the ECB is what we’re seeing... I rather fear that we’re not going to get clarity. We’ll probably sell-off if we don’t get a full bond-buying programme,” Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, said.

Rundle reckoned that, in the case of disappointment, the FTSEurofirst 300 could test the 1,050 area, support seen at the beginning of August.

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