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ECB's Draghi sidelines critics to keep money taps wide open

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FRANKFURT The European Central Bank on Thursday stuck to its pledge to keep money pouring into the euro zone economy for as long as needed, despite opposition from some rate setters and increased growth and inflation forecasts for the area. | Video

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French central bank bumps up 2017 growth forecast to 1.8 percent 5:35pm GMT

PARIS France's economy has grown faster than expected this year thanks to surging business and household investment and could gain further steam if reforms bear fruit, the central bank said on Thursday.

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Euro weakens as Draghi maintains accommodative stance 4:11pm GMT

NEW YORK The U.S. dollar gained against the euro on Thursday after the European Central Bank raised growth and inflation forecasts for the euro area, but stuck with its pledge to provide stimulus for as long as needed.

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ECB raises GDP and inflation forecasts 3:10pm GMT

FRANKFURT The European Central Bank raised its growth and inflation forecasts on Thursday as the euro zone's recovery becomes increasingly broad-based but saw inflation falling short of target into 2020 as high unemployment keeps a lid on wages.

Draghi comments at ECB press conference 2:25pm GMT

FRANKFURT The European Central Bank kept its ultra-easy policy stance unchanged on Thursday, promising to hold rates low for an extended period and even maintaining a pledge to provide more stimulus if needed.

TEXT - Statement from the ECB following policy meeting 2:22pm GMT

FRANKFURT Reuters) - Following is the statement from the European Central Bank following its policy meeting.

Decorated kayaks light up Copenhagen canals on Saint Lucia's Day 2:07pm GMT

COPENHAGEN A flotilla of kayaks decked in lights and Christmas decorations floated through the canals of central Copenhagen on Wednesday evening to celebrate Saint Lucia's Day.

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Next phase of Brexit talks to be real test of EU unity - Tusk 1:57pm GMT

BRUSSELS The next phase of talks on Brexit will be the real test of European Union unity and success can only come if the 27 remaining EU countries stick together, the chairman of EU leader Donald Tusk said on Thursday.

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ECB keeps policy, guidance unchanged 1:46pm GMT

FRANKFURT The European Central Bank reaffirmed its ultra-easy policy stance on Thursday, promising to keep rates steady until after the end of bond buys and maintaining a pledge to increase the purchases, if necessary.

Irish mortgage arrears inch lower again in third quarter 12:37pm GMT

DUBLIN The number of Irish homeowners in arrears for more than 90 days inched lower to 7 percent in the third quarter from 7.1 percent three months earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday, confirming a pattern of moderating declines.

U.S. still sees prospects for German fighter jet sales

BERLIN The U.S. military said it still sees prospects for selling American fighter jets to Germany despite a Defence Ministry statement this week that it was primarily looking at the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its fleet of 85 Tornado jets.

Four children killed after train, school bus collide in France

PARIS Four children were killed and seven seriously injured after a train smashed into a school bus, splitting it in two, outside the town of Perpignan in southwestern France on Thursday, the interior ministry said.

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Exclusive - Luxottica, Essilor tie-up on track for unconditional EU okay: sources

BRUSSELS Italian eyewear maker Luxottica and French lens manufacturer Essilor are set to win unconditional EU antitrust approval for their 48 billion-euro (£42 billion) merger, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

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