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Investing in Europe depends on the consumer: Experts

If investors look to Europe amid easy monetary policy, consumer-facing names may provide the best upside, two experts said Thursday.

The European Central Bank left its key interest rates unchanged at record lows Thursday. ECB President Mario Draghi also noted the central bank's bond-buying program will need to be "re-examined in December."

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Mario Draghi addresses a news conference after a meeting of the ECB Governing Council in St. Julian's, outside Valletta, Malta, Oct. 22, 2015.
Darrin Zammit Lupi | Reuters
Mario Draghi addresses a news conference after a meeting of the ECB Governing Council in St. Julian's, outside Valletta, Malta, Oct. 22, 2015.

If accommodative policy spurs job growth and puts more money in consumers' pockets, European consumer names could hold big upside, said Darin Richards, chief investment officer at AKT Wealth Advisors.

"Now you're going to start to see, as their economy does better, some unleashing of demand that we haven't seen in several years," he said in a CNBC "Power Lunch" interview.

Matthew Whitbread, investment manager at Baring Asset Management, told "Power Lunch" he is "pretty bullish" on the European consumer as labor markets improve.

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Richards added that further easing from the ECB could weaken the euro. It dipped as much as 2 percent against the dollar Thursday after Draghi's comments.

He noted that investors in Europe should hedge against more potential weakness in the euro.