Stocks rally on European central banks’ comments

AMSTERDAM (AP) — On a day when U.S. markets were closed for the Independence Day holiday, stocks around the world have posted some solid gains today.

Britain’s main index finished more than three percent higher. France’s was up by nearly that amount, and Germany’s DAX rose 2.1 percent.

The gains in Britain came after the Bank of England’s first monetary policy meeting under new governor Mark Carney. It said afterward that the expectations it would raise rates in coming months were unwarranted, despite the improving economic backdrop.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank kept rates at record lows in light of the eurozone’s ongoing recession. The bank’s president, Mario Draghi, said for the first time that rates will remain at those levels “for an extended period of time.”

The central bank statements contributed to strong declines in the euro and British pound against the dollar.

Earlier, in Asia, Hong Kong’s main index was the strongest gainer, rising 1.6 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.6 percent.

Investors around the world are keeping an eye on the price of oil. It has passed $100 a barrel because of yesterday’s events in Egypt, where President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the military.

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