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Debt crisis: European shares edge higher on stimulus speculation

EUROPEAN top stocks opened higher on Thursday, as investors continued to bet policymakers in Europe would soon unveil measures to prop up the region's ailing economy, although gains were cautious after the previous session's sharp rally.

The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 1.82 points, or 0.2 percent, at 976.03 at 0708 GMT, having closed 2.2 percent higher on Wednesday, despite the European Central Bank dashing expectations it could take further action near-term.

"Ultimately there is only a 10 percent chance of a complete euro zone break-up because the economic vested interests on both sides are so strong to keep the euro together and, to some extent, as are most of the political vested interests," Andrew Garthwaite, analyst at Credit Suisse, said.

There is also hope that other policymakers around the globe are readying themselves to take imminent action.

In a speech in Boston, Janet Yellen, the vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, cited risks to the economy from ongoing housing problems, a weak jobs market and worsening financial conditions, with her comments suggesting to some that the Fed may be close to easing policy again.

Source: Reuters