Europe Stocks Head For Record Close As Draghi Speaks

Europe's benchmark stock index headed for its highest close ever on Wednesday, holding on to gains after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi struck an upbeat tone on the region's economic recovery. Speaking at a press conference after the central bank's monetary-policy meeting, the ECB boss said the bank's aggressive easing program has been effective. "Looking ahead, we expect the economic recovery to broaden and strengthen gradually. Domestic demand should be further supported by ongoing improvements in financial conditions, as well as by the progress made with fiscal consolidation and structural reforms," he said in his introductory remarks. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.8% to 414.97, on track to surpass its current record closing high of 413.63 reached on Monday. Germany's DAX 30 index added 0.6% to 12,296.92, while France's CAC 40 index climbed 0.8% to 5,258.57. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index picked up 0.4% to 7,105.76.

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