Stocks rise on ECB chief's cautious optimism for recovery

Draghi keeps rate at 0.5%

Stocks rise on ECB chief's cautious optimism for recovery

Milan, September 5 - European stock markets edged upward on Thursday after the European Central Bank chief expressed cautious optimism on European economic prospects and the ECB decided to keep its 0.5% interest rate unchanged. European stocks rose 0.6% on average, while the Milan bourse FTSE MIB gained a full percentage point. The ECB has improved its outlook for the European economy. The ECB now expects the eurozone area to contract 0.4% in 2013 in contrast to its previous forecast of a 0.6% contraction. The single-currency block finally showed tentative signs of economic recovery in the second quarter, growing 0.3%. ECB President Mario Draghi said, ''I am very, very cautious about the recovery. I can't share enthusiasm. It is just the beginning. Let's see, these shoots are still very, very green''. Draghi expressed particular worry about ''geopolitical risks'' that could result from ''the situation in Syria''.

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