The ECB sets policy on Thursday next week, when it will have the euro zone-wide flash inflation estimate for March due on Monday. Economists expect that to slip to just 0.6 percent, well below the ECB's target of below but close to 2 percent.
Europe's main equity markets were all higher, posting early gains of up to three quarters of one percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent at 1332 points, on for its fourth straight day of gains as investors square positions at the end of the quarter.
After the respective eight and six percent gains of the previous two quarters, equity investors have been much more cautious in the first three months of the year. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 is on track for a gain of around 1 percent.
Asian and emerging market shares were supported by comments from China's Premier Li Keqiang, who was quoted by state media as saying the government would roll out targeted measures step-by-step to aid the economy.
MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.7 percent and Japan's Nikkei .N225 closed at a three-week high of 14,696 points ahead of the end of their financial year on March 31.
Emerging markets showed signs of recovering from a bruising few weeks, with hopes of further Chinese stimulus pushing with the military and geopolitical tensions surrounding Russia and Ukraine further into the background.
The MSCI index of emerging shares has climbed for six straight sessions to the highest since January 3. The index for Latin America on Thursday boasted its biggest daily gain since July 2012 as Brazilian markets rallied.
In U.S. bond markets, Treasury yields were capped by the fall in European bond yields. Ten-year U.S. borrowing costs hovered around 2.67 percent, a single basis point above Thursday's 11-day low.
Gold looked to snap its broad losing streak this month, rebounding from Thursday's six-week low to trade up 0.4 percent on the day at $1,295.00 an ounce.
In the oil market, U.S. crude futures were almost flat on the day at $101.43 a barrel.