Jens Weidmann euro

REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

ECB board member Jens Weidmann poses with a large euro.

European stocks are mixed early Thursday, ahead of the European Central Bank’s momentous announcement, with a major new stimulus effort looking very likely.

France’s CAC 40: -0.37%

Germany’s DAX:  -0.29%

UK’s FTSE 100: +0.07%

Spain’s IBEX: +0.61%

Italy’s FTSE MIB: +0.63%

Asian markets closed up too. Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.28% higher, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.70%. China’s Shanghai Compsite ended up 0.59%. Amazingly, Shanghai stocks have now claimed back almost all of Monday’s crash, which was the worst day for the index since 2008.

US futures are climbing too. The S&P 500 is currently 6.5 points higher and the Dow is up 53 points.

All eyes are on the ECB today: Any major positive or negative surprises from Mario Draghi are likely to provoke significant market reactions. At 12:45 p.m GMT (7:45 a.m ET) the ECB makes its announcement, and there’s a press conference 45 minutes later.

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