LONDON Nov 9 European shares closed modestly
higher on Friday after a batch of strong U.S. data injected some
optimism about a recovery in the world's largest economy and
fuelled a technical rebound in late trade.
A sharp increase in September U.S. wholesale inventories and
sales, coupled with a rise in consumer sentiment this month,
helped act as a counterweight to persistent concerns around the
outlook for U.S. fiscal policy.
The euro zone blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index
provisionally closed up 0.3 percent at 2,486.39 points,
extending gains after breaking above a late October low in 2,467
Concerns about a "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax hikes and
spending cuts worth $600 billion and due to kick in on Jan. 1
had pushed the index 2.7 percent lower in the previous two
"We think that an agreement will be reached and the fiscal
cliff is going to be sized down," Matthias Thiel, a strategist
at M.M.Warburg & Co in Hamburg said.
"There is a chance the negotiations are going to frighten
the stock market in the short term but in general we think that
a solution should be reached and that's why investors should buy
on those dips."