European stocks rise on economy optimism, euro hits 9-month high

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By Elizabeth Howcroft LONDON (Reuters) – European stock indexes rose slightly in early trading on Monday, supported by hopes that inflation could be past its peak, as markets softened their expectations for future Federal Reserve rate hikes. Liquidity was thin overnight as markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. At 0947 GMT, the MSCI World Equity index was up 0.3% on the day, holding just below last week’s highs. Europe’s STOXX 600 and London’s FTSE 100 were both up 0.2% on the day. Signs of inflation softening, falls…

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