FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - European equity indexes are trading higher on Thursday ahead of the ECB monetary policy decision due at 13:30 GMT. TD Securities analysts suspect the EUR will rise after the event: "The press conference will focus on semantics after the "wide discussion" of a rate cut last month, as well as the modalities of unwinding 3y LTROs, which would leave us with a small bias for rates and EUR higher after the meeting by disappointing the doves", wrote analyst Alvin Pontoh.

The German DAX 30 (+0.21%), the Italian FTSE MIB (+0.68%) and the Spanish IBEX 35 (+0.10%) rise, while the French CAC 40 (-0.20%) is down. Also boosting market sentiment was the strong take up seen in the first public debt auction in Spain. Spain sold ¬5.87B, more than the ¬4-5B targeted: ¬3.397B of 2-year debt at 2.476% (from 3.282%); ¬1.950B of 5-year debt at 3.988% (from 4.68%); ¬470M of 13-year debt at 5.555%. A good way to start the year for Spain, as traders continue guessing when will Prime Minister Rajoy ask for aid through the OMT programme.

The British FTSE 100 (+0.09%) is up and the BoE has just announced its policy decision for the month of January, keeping the Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5% and the asset purchases programme left at £375B, in the first meeting of 2013.

Futures for the American S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones are signaling a higher opening by around +0.25% ahead of the NY session and US jobless claims. WTI Crude oil trades at $94.20 (+1.15%) and Gold rises to $1664 (+0.37%).

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