Shares buoyed by Japanese stimulus

Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 01:00

European shares rose today, with Japan's move to ease its monetary policy to bolster the world's third-biggest economy allaying concerns about global growth.

Japan boosted its asset purchase programme to support the economy that faces weakening exports and fall-out from a territorial dispute with China, following recent central bank stimulus action in the United States and Europe.

Earlier, the FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.5 per cent at 1,117.54 points after falling 0.4 per cent yesterday and 0.3 per cent on Monday. The index, which climbed to a 14-month high on Friday on the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programmes, is up more than 11 per cent so far this year.

"There have been some concerns with regards to China's economic growth and its broader impact elsewhere. The fact that the Japanese central bank is attempting to play its part is certainly favourable," Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

"Investors are trying to remain generally defensively oriented, but at the same time they are trying to give themselves some exposure to the more cyclical areas, in case we do see a more sustained economic recovery."

European auto shares, generally seen as cyclical plays, were the top gainer, with the sector index rising 1.6 per cent. The basic resources index was up 0.9 per cent.

In Japan, the Nikkei average hit a four-month closing high today following moves by the Bank of Japan.