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Suspense builds as ECB prepares to unveil QE

A trader walks across the trading floor at the Frankfurt stock exchange  Suspense builds as ECB prepares to unveil QE 2015 01 22T134348Z 1 LYNXMPEB0L0O8 RTROPTP 2 MARKETS STOCKS EUROPEBy Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) – European shares were at a seven-year high and the euro sat near an 11-year low on Thursday as the European Central Bank prepared to take the plunge into full-scale quantitative easing. The ECB left its main interest rates at an all-time low but said it would announce "further monetary policy measures" at its 1330 GMT news conference. Market expectations are sky-high for the bank to unveil a large-scale QE programme – printing money to buy euro zone government bonds – despite opposition from Germany's Bundesbank. A euro zone source said on Wednesday that the bank's Executive Board, which met on Tuesday, has proposed the ECB should buy 50 billion euros ($58 billion) of bonds each month from March, although it was unclear how long for.

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