European stocks rise as central banks pledge easy monetary policy

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

May 26 (Reuters) - European stocks rose to near all-time highs on Wednesday as a host of central bank policymakers pledged to keep monetary policy loose despite recent signs of an uptick in inflation.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% by 0711 GMT, with Germany’s DAX up 0.4%, France’s CAC 40 rising 0.3% and UK’s FTSE 100 adding 0.2%.

British retailer Marks & Spencer jumped 5.5% despite reporting an 88% slump in full-year profit.

French food company Danone slipped 1.6% after Berenberg downgraded the stock to “sell”, citing the hard-to-fix low-growth nature of most of its categories.

Global stock markets took comfort as U.S. Federal Reserve officials reaffirmed a dovish monetary policy stance, while European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta said the bank should not reduce the pace of asset purchases from next month. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)