From Reuters:

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, December 1, 2015. Reuters/Staff/Remote

Investors were hoping for another bit of Mario Draghi magic on Thursday, after risk assets were left bruised by comments from the head of the Federal Reserve that she was “looking forward” to hiking U.S. rates.

European stocks .FTEU3 were up 0.7 percent near 3-month highs and the euro EUR= was at a 7-1/2-year low, with Draghi expected to expand the European Central Bank’s money-printing program later and hike the cost for banks that hoard cash.

It followed a fresh spurt by the dollar .DXY overnight that had sent gold XAU= sliding to a new 5-1/2-year low and other commodity and emerging markets .MSCIEF tumbling back again. [EMRG/FRX]

Those moves were triggered by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen when she said on Wednesday that raising U.S. rates, something the Fed is expected to do for the first time in nearly a decade on Dec. 16, would be proof of the economy’s recovery.

“When the Committee begins to normalize the stance of policy, doing so will be a testament … to how far our economy has come,” she said, referring to the Fed’s policy-setting committee. “In that sense, it is a day that I expect we all are looking forward to.”

It left the focus firmly on the ECB’s moves later and traders wondering whether whatever comes out of Frankfurt will be able to offset…

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