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* STOXX Europe 600 closes up 0.3 pct, near eight-month highs
* Weir Group rises but Dorma+Kaba falls
* STOXX 600 down 4 pct so far in 2016
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Sept 7 European shares rose on
Wednesday, taking a benchmark index close to eight-month highs,
helped by some well-received company results and the prospect of
more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.
The STOXX Europe 600 index finished up 0.3 percent
at 350.46 points, near its highest level since January, although
the index remains down by 4 percent so far in 2016.
European stock markets were propped up as euro zone bond
yields fell on bets that the ECB, which meets on Thursday, will
announce further policy easing measures.
Lower bond yields and negative interest rates have hit
returns on bonds and cash, driving investors over to the better
returns available from stocks, although negative rates may also
affect the profitability of European banks.
"The ECB will soon find itself at a crossroads, and will
have to assure the market in principle that its QE (quantitative
easing) programme will continue despite the negative side
effects on the financial system," said Dierk Brandenburg, senior
sovereign analyst at Fidelity International.
British engineering group Weir was the
best-performing STOXX 600 stock in percentage terms, climbing
4.5 percent after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on it to
"overweight" from "equal weight".
However, shares in Swiss security company Dorma+Kaba
slumped 7.9 percent after the company reported a drop
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Larry King)