European stocks advanced for a fourth day, extending their highest level in seven years, amid speculation that the European Central Bank will announce a plan for quantitative easing this week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.8 percent to 355.96 at the close of trading, after earlier rising as much as 1.2 percent. Banks and miners led gains among 19 industry groups. The benchmark gauge has rallied 4.8 percent in the four days since the Swiss central bank unexpectedly abandoned its currency peg against the euro, a move that increased speculation of a government-bond buying program from the ECB.

ECB President Mario Draghi will make his biggest push yet to steer the euro area away from deflation by introducing quantitative easing at the Jan. 22 meeting, according to 93 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg News survey. The ECB president will probably announce a 550 billion-euro ($639 billion) bond purchase program, economists say.

Source : Bloomberg