Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi said the quantitative easing, or asset purchasing programme, had helped SMEsGetty

European markets were rallying on Thursday (3 December) ahead of a press conference in which European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is expected to announce an increase in the Quantitative Easing programme. Draghi is facing reporters at 1.30pm GMT in Frankfurt.

On 20 November, Draghi already sent European stock markets soaring by hinting at a possible QE hike. "We consider the asset purchase programme to be a powerful and flexible instrument, as it can be adjusted in terms of size, composition or duration to achieve a more expansionary stance," he said at the time.

"We will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible. That is what our price stability mandate requires of us." The ECB's asset purchasing programme injects cash into the Eurozone to improve the financial situation.

The inflation rate in the Eurozone was at 0.1% in November, well beneath the ECB target of 2%. The ECB is set to announce its changes to the Eurozone interest rates. The Bank has held rates at 0.05% for a while, with deposit interest rates at -0.02%.

Draghi is explaining his monetary policy decisions on the day that Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index shows a faster than expected growth in the service sector. The PMI results in November were seen as very positive.

"Further ECB stimulus looks inevitable, while fiscal policy is gradually becoming more growth orientated with countries increasingly introducing stimulative measures," IHS UK and EU chief economist Howard Archer commented.

You can watch Draghi live here or in the box below.