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European Shares Lack Direction Ahead Of Central Bank Speeches

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European stocks lacked direction on Thursday as investors kept an eye on currency movements and awaited third-quarter earnings from U.S. banking giants due this week for direction.

Also, ECB President Mario Draghi and several other ECB members are set to speak at the IMF's annual meeting in Washington D.C.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.1 percent at 390.47 in late opening deals after finishing marginally lower the previous day.

The German DAX was marginally higher and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.1 percent while France's CAC 40 index was declining 0.1 percent.

Banks Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale fell between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent after the European Commission proposed new measures to strengthen the EU banking sector against future crises.

Accor slid half a percent after Australia's Mantra Group agreed to be bought by the French hotel group.

Lufthansa was up more than 3 percent. The German airline said it would sign an agreement to buy large parts of the bankrupt carrier Air Berlin.

Gold miner Randgold Resources rose over 1 percent in London as gold prices surged on a muted dollar following the release of marginally dovish minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's September policy meeting.

Sky Plc shares rallied 1.4 percent after the company reported better-than-expected first quarter results and said it is on track to meet its full-year targets.

Just Eat shares soared 5.8 percent after the Competition and Markets Authority approved its planned £200m purchase of rival Hungryhouse.

On a light day on the economic front, final data from statistical office Insee showed that French consumer inflation rose to a five-month high of 1 percent in September, as estimated earlier, from 0.9 percent in August. This was the fastest rate since April, when inflation was 1.2 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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