Wednesday 20 September 2017

European shares edge higher, head for best week in eight months

An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company in Shanghai (AP)
An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company in Shanghai (AP)

European shares edged up to a two-week peak today, still riding the positive momentum of a Federal Reserve decision on Wednesday that underlined growing optimism over the US economy while promising to keep interest rates low for longer.

Traders, however, said the market may be vulnerable to profit taking in the last trading days of the year after gains of about 3pc for the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 this week. That put the index on track for its best weekly gain in eight months and it is now up by more than 13pc this year.

In early trade, the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was up 0.2pc at 3,037.00 points.

Germany's DAX share index rose 0.4pc, outperforming the wider market after data showed German consumer morale hit its highest level in nearly 6-1/2 years heading into January as shoppers became more willing to splash their cash.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1pc at 1,282.47 points after setting a new two-week high and rising 1.8pc on Thursday, its biggest one-day gain since September, after the Fed announced to phase out its stimulus more gently than many had expected.

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