European shares gain; focus on Obama, BernankePosted on Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 20:50 pm
LONDON (Reuters) - European shares rose for a second session Thursday, lifted by short coverings before U.S. President Barack Obama details his plan for jobs growth and boost the economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares provisionally closed 0.8 percent higher at 939.05 points after a choppy trade that saw the index moving in a wide range of 926.38-942.34 points.
"The debate has now moved on to the potential policy response that we could see and with Obama's speech tonight, (U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben) Bernanke speaking this afternoon and a G7 meeting Friday, you have started to line up the catalysts which could respond to some of the economic concerns," said Ian Richards, European equity strategist at RBS.
"And with the markets at these kinds of levels, a policy response on the positive side would be very welcome."
Energy shares topped the gainers' list, with the European sector index <.sxep> rising 2.2 percent, tracking gains in crude oil which rose after a government report showed crude stocks fell more than expected last week in the United States.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash)