Shares steady in Europe after two days of big gains
EUROPEAN shares held firm this morning, consolidating two sessions of sharp gains, as concerns about diminished monetary stimulus from the US Federal Reserve continued to subside.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was flat at 1,149.60 by 0705 GMT, having rallied 3.2pc over the previous two sessions.
European equities suffered a sharp sell-off late last week after comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about scaling back the central bank's bond-buying programme.
But Fed policy makers have since downplayed any imminent end to the programme, offering investors reassurance that policy will only be shifted once the economy is strong enough.
"I think longer term markets should rejoice in the fact that quantitative easing will come to an end, that the Federal Reserve believes the US economy is recovering to the point where it can now start to taper that stimulus," said Barclays strategist Henk Potts.
Also adding support, Chinese money market rates moderated for a fifth day after last week's spike, with Asian stocks recovering some of their recent hefty losses as fears of a credit squeeze subsided.