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CAC 40 Inches Higher On Hopes Of Dovish ECB

French stocks were moving higher on Thursday, as investors digested solid U.S. earnings and remained hopeful that the European Central Bank will reiterate its dovish approach to boost the economic recovery.

The ECB meting outcome is due at 1145 GMT, followed by a news conference with its president Christine Lagarde at 1230 GMT.

It is expected that the central bank will maintain its accommodative stance to support the euro area.

The Governing Council is meeting for the first time since the ECB unveiled a tweaked inflation target earlier this month.

The benchmark CAC 40 index inched up 42 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,506 after surging as much as 1.9 percent in the previous session.

Publicis gained more than 3 percent. The advertising giant reported strong second-quarter growth, reflecting an industry resurgence from the worst of the pandemic.

In economic news, French manufacturing confidence strengthened to the highest level in more than three years in July largely driven by the assessment of foreign orders and personal production expectations, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed.

The manufacturing sentiment index advanced to 110 in July from 108 in June. This was the highest score since April 2018 and above economists' forecast of 107.

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