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Europe Stocks to Rise; Euro Struggles as Fear Persists

European shares were set to open higher on Thursday, adding to gains in the previous session, and after Wall Street rose on upbeat economic data before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sharon Lorimer

European sharesbounced back from six-week lows on Wednesdayas encouraging economic data boosted appetite for riskier assets, although worries about debt levels in peripheral euro zone countries kept investors jittery.

The Irish government unveiled a 15 billion euro four-year austerity plan that foresees deep spending cuts and tax increases to help pay for a banking crisis and meet the terms of a rescue by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

"This hasn't come as too much of a surprise as far as the market is concerned," Ian Stannard, currency strategist at BNP Paribas told CNBC.

The euro struggled near two-month lows as worries that the debt crisis could spill over the euro zone persisted.

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan told CNBC immediately after the press conference outlining the measures on Wednesday that the plan would bring Ireland's borrowing requirements down to single-digit figures next year.

Investors are now increasingly focusing on Spain and Portugal as speculation mounts that they too will need to be bailed out. Spanish 10-year yields hit their highest level since 2002 on Wednesday.

French consumer confidence data for November and Spanish producer price figures for October are among economic indicators to be released in Europe on Thursday.

In addition, the Bank of England will publish its November inflation report.

Wall street is closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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