European shares post sixth monthly gain in a row

PARIS Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:39am EST

PARIS Nov 30 (Reuters) - European stocks ended almost unchanged on Friday, posting solid monthly gains as investors bet the worst of Europe's debt crisis is over and that a deal in U.S. budget talks will be reached before the year-end.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.08 percent lower at 1,120.89 points, after hitting a high of 1,125.12 during the session, a level not seen since July 2011.

The index posted a gain of 2.2 percent for November, its sixth straight positive month - the index's longest run of successive monthly gains in eight years.

"There's been a strong reversal in sentiment," said Marc Renaud, chief executive officer of Mandarine Gestion, which has 1.45 billion euros ($1.89 billion) in assets under management.

"We're now seeing inflows into equities, albeit still modest, and the volatility has tumbled to levels not seen since the start of the financial crisis. We can finally do our job as stock pickers."

Shares in LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods maker, was the top blue-chip performer, up 1.3 percent after Goldman Sachs upgraded its recommendation on the stock to 'buy', forecasting an improvement in demand from China.

France Telecom was the biggest loser among major companies, down 1.9 percent as speculation swirled of an imminent shake-up of the STOXX Europe 50 from which the telecom operator could be dropped.

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