September 18, 2014 / 7:11 AM / 3 years ago

European shares track Wall St gains after Fed

PARIS, Sept 18 (Reuters) - European stocks inched higher in early trade on Thursday, tracking gains on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve renewed its pledge to keep ultra-low interest rates for a “considerable time”.

At 0703 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,388.64 points.

On Wednesday, the Fed reaffirmed its commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time,” and repeated concerns over slack in the labor market, standing firm against calls to overhaul its policy statement.

However, the Fed also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving. The central bank’s new rate projections suggested officials were positioning themselves for a potentially faster pace of rate hikes than they had envisioned when the last set of forecasts were released in June.

UK stocks underperformed in early trade, with the FTSE 100 up 0.1 percent - less than gains of 0.4 percent on Germany’s DAX and 0.2 percent on France’s CAC.

A YouGov poll for the Times and Sun newspapers showed Scottish support for staying in the United Kingdom at 52 percent with Scottish support for the “Yes” campaign backing independence at 48 percent, excluding undecideds who number 6 percent of voters, as voting got underway in Scotland’s independence referendum. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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