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European Shares Hold Steady Ahead Of Central Bank Meetings

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European stocks held steady near four-week highs on Monday, with U.K. markets outperforming, as the pound held weaker and investors turned their focus on a plethora of central bank meetings scheduled this week.

The FOMC is widely expected to raise policy rates by 25 basis points, while the Bank of England, which hiked rates last month, is hardly in a position to raise rates again when it reviews its monetary policy on Thursday.

Similarly, no change in policy is expected from the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was marginally higher in late opening deals after rising 0.7 percent on Friday to hit a one-week high.

The German DAX was moving up 0.2 percent and France's CAC 40 index was little changed with a positive bias while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was rising 0.6 percent.

Italian defense contractor Leonardo rallied 2.4 percent following an upbeat note from Goldman Sachs.

Financials were broadly higher in London, with Standard Chartered, HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking Group rising 1-2 percent.

Investec rallied 3.5 percent. The company reassured investors that it is not expecting to suffer any losses on its credit exposures to the Steinhoff Group of companies.

Hurricane Energy shares soared 11 percent after the company unveiled a new competent persons report for the 'Rona Ridge' assets, excluding the Lancaster oil field.

Troubled retailer Steinhoff jumped 8 percent to snap three sessions of heavy losses.

Germany's Siemens advanced nearly 2 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its target price on the stock.

by RTT Staff Writer

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