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European stocks rise, all eyes on Scotland

FXStreet (Córdoba) - European stocks advanced Thursday after the Federal Reserve repeated interest rates will remain near zero for a "considerable time", but all eyes rested on the Scottish referendum which is keeping investors cautious and mostly sidelined.

The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.69% to 346.75 in early trade. As for country-specific indexes, the UK FTSE gained 0.42% after latest polls gave the ‘no’ the lead in the Scottish independence referendum. The Germany’s DAX 30 climbed 0.87% while the France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.64%. Spain’s Ibex 35 rose 0.81% while Italy’s FTSE MIB was up 0.45%.

Even though the Fed repeated that rates would stay near zero for a “considerable time”, rates projections indicated it could hike rates faster once it starts moving. The central bank also tapered monthly bond buying by $10 billion for a seventh time, staying on course to end the program in October.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank will announce the result of its first TLTRO today aimed to combat deflation via expansion of the ECB balance sheet. The median estimate suggests banks will receive 150 billion euros.

In the FX market, EUR/USD recoup some of yesterday’s losses after hitting fresh 14-month lows in the wake of Fed rates projections. GBP/USD wavered around 1.6300 amid Scottish jitters while USD/JPY pulled back from a fresh 6-year highs of 108.86. CHF strengthened after SNB kept rates unchanged after speculations that negative interest rates might be set.

In terms of economic releases, watch for US housing starts and building permits, initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey. The Scottish referendum ends at 21:00 GMT but the unofficial estimated time of the result is around 7:00 GMT on Friday .

As for commodities, gold was up 0.17% at $1,224 an ounce after hitting an 8 ½-month low of $1,216.03 in early trade. Crude oil was down 0.12% at $94.31 a barrel.

USD/JPY retreats from fresh 6-year high at 108.86

USD/JPY retreated from 6-year highs to current 108.50 area.
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