The ECB's stance has led to a retreat in bond yields, with the German 10-year Bund yield falling to 2.40% and the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield dropping to 4.54%. This easing in the bond market has also supported European stocks, with the EuroStoxx 50, FTSEurofirst 300, and Stoxx 600 all posting gains.

The basic resources sector is in demand due to rising oil prices and other commodities amid supply fears. The banking index is up ahead of results from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.

In company news, the United Arab Emirates' state-owned oil company, ADNOC, recently contemplated acquiring BP plc but decided against it, citing strategic fit and political considerations. This move highlights ADNOC's global ambitions and BP's vulnerability as a potential takeover target. Despite BP's underperformance compared to its competitors, its transition towards renewables has been faster than peers like Shell, Exxon, and Chevron, which has led to investor penalties.

Precious metal miners and industrial metal miners are outperforming, as gold prices hit a historic peak and Shanghai aluminium prices reached two-year highs.

The UK economy grew again in February, suggesting an escape from recession. The Office for National Statistics reported a 0.1% growth in February, with January's reading revised higher. Industrial production increased by 1.1% from January, and the UK trade deficit narrowed in February.

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