European shares at four-year peak

The FTSE rose to a four year peak this morning, a day after the Dow Jones hit a record high.

The FTSE rose to a four year peak this morning, a day after the Dow Jones hit a record high.


The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares vaulted over its 2011 peak and hit a four-year high this morning, helped in part by M&A talk in the telecom sector.

At 8.23am, the FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.25 per cent at 1,192.01 points, a level not seen since September 2008.

Britain's top share index attacked fresh highs early today, led by strength in heavyweight Vodafone and engineer Melrose, which posted strong results. By 8.47am, London's blue chip FTSE 100 index was 15.17 points, or 0.2 percent higher at 6,447.12, having closed above 6,400 points for the first time in over five years, helped by support from central banks.

"Central bank promises to maintain stimuli continue to be the main influence, and with technical indicators pointing towards the 6,550-level investors will be looking for economic releases to confirm this potential," Mike Mason of Sucden Financial Private Clients said.

British house prices rose 0.5 per cent in February from January, according to mortgage lender Halifax, which said it had become more positive about the outlook for the property market for the rest of the year.

Investors are watching growth data from the euro zone due at 10am, which could spur further gains, while US ADP Employment data at 1.15pm will be closely watched as an indication for Friday's big monthly jobs report.

Yesterday, Wall Street's Dow Jones industrial average hit its highest level ever.


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