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European shares limp higher on stimulus hopes
June 5, 2012 / 5:28 PM / 5 years ago

European shares limp higher on stimulus hopes

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose on Tuesday after a choppy, nervous session as investors tentatively bought into beaten-down shares on hopes for global central bank policy action to revive the economic recovery.

The Euro STOXX 50 .STOXX50E closed up 0.4 percent at 2,087.31, extending the previous session's modest bounce off Friday's eight-month closing low in the aftermath of a dismal U.S. jobs report. Volumes were curbed by a second day of UK public holidays.

“If you look at equity markets in the past few days, indeed there is some expectation that something is done by governments ... or (it is) the ECB which takes the initiative,” Luca Solca, global head of European research at CA Cheuvreux, said.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index currently trades at 8.4 times 12-month forward earnings, compared with price-to-earnings ratios of 11.9 for Wall Street's S&P 500 .SPX and 9.3 for the MSCI Emerging equity index .MSCIEF, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Investors were keenly awaiting a European Central Bank meeting on Wednesday and a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday for any further policy announcements.

Banks .SX7P were among the best performing sectors on Tuesday, ahead 0.8 percent, with investors heartened by the prospect of possible fresh central bank stimulus.

Telekom Austria (TELA.VI) climbed 4.3 percent after Austrian magazine News said that Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim now holds 4.1 percent of the company and would pool his stake to control almost a quarter of the company.

The Greek bourse .ATG underperformed sharply, skidding 5.1 percent as concerns intensified over the country's future in the euro zone, with all eyes on June 17 elections and whether it will be able to form a government willing to stick to the international bailout terms.

In an indication of the issues facing the euro zone, all the region’s major economies are in decline, according to the latest purchasing managers indexes, underlining why finance chiefs from the G7 held emergency talks on the debt crisis.

They agreed to work together to address pressing problems in Spain and Greece, Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi said.

Charts showed the outlook for Euro STOXX 50 remains gloomy after the index dipped below November’s troughs last week.

“The break confirms that the market holds its next target below the 2011 low point. Accordingly we are still very much in favour of selling temporary bounces such as the current one,” strategists at SEB said in a note.

The technical picture also looked grim for the French CAC 40 index .FCHI, where the 50-day moving average crossed below the 200-day moving average in early trading on Tuesday, a strongly bearish technical signal called 'death cross', which usually means further falls in the index six months down the road.

A similar 'death cross' was triggered on the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 .STOXX50E last week, with the index having extended its losses since then.

Reporting by Tricia Wright; Additional reporting by Toni Vorobyova and Blaise Robinson; Editing by Susan Fenton

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