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European stocks close higher; ECB, US jobs eyed

European shares closed higher on Wednesday, ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB)'s latest policy decision and Thursday's all-important U.S. employment numbers.

US jobs, ECB eyed

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index closed provisionally 0.2 percent higher at 1,386 points on Wednesday, having traded in a tight range after Tuesday's moderate gains.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed unofficially 0.2 percent higher at 6,816, after hitting a one-year high of 6,829. The German Dax closed up around 0.1 percent, while the French Cac closed provisionally down 0.3 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
---
DAX
---
CAC 40
---
IBEX 35
---

Chris Beauchamp, a market strategist at brokerage IG Markets, said that for markets to keep rising, some dovish commentary from the ECB would help, as well as a strong U.S. non-farm payrolls number on Thursday.

"Such events would create ideal conditions for a mid-summer melt-up in stocks," he said in a research note.

The ECB gives its interest rate decision on Thursday and the U.S. payrolls employment report will be released later that day, having been brought forward due to the July 4 holiday.

The ADP jobs report, viewed as an indicator of how the U.S.'s employment report will read, came in better than expected on Wednesday. It showed private sector job creation surged in June, with companies creating 281,000 new positions.

In the euro zone, May producer price data fell for a fifth month, by 0.1 percent on the month.

In Amsterdam, NN Group—the insurance arm of Dutch bank ING—closed around 1.2 percent higher in its trading debut on Wednesday. The company was valued at 7 billion euros ($9.56 billion) in Europe's largest float this year.

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