European shares bounce back after Italy wobble

LONDON Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:32am EST

LONDON Feb 27 (Reuters) - European shares found firmer footing on Wednesday, having tumbled lower in the previous session, as investors used the opportunity to buy back in on beaten down assets.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed up 10.98 points, or 1 percent at 1,161.23, led by strength in benchmark indexes in Italy and Spain, which had fallen 4.9 and 3.2 percent, respectively, on Tuesday after an Italian election stalemate renewed concerns about the future of the euro zone.

"There's a lot of money ready to go in on the dips and people do tend to invest by looking in the rear-view mirror and there's nothing that increases confidence more than a market that has performed well," Peter Clark, chief investment officer at Igenious Asset Management, said.

The euro zone blue chip index and the broader STOXX 600 remain up around 9 percent and 7 percent, respectively, since November as central banks stepped in with unprecendented support the global financial system.

A well-bid Italian bond auction, the first test of investor demand for the country's debt after inconclusive weekend elections, helped stocks recover on Wednesday.

As did the U.S. Federal Reserve's defence of its bond-buying plans -- seen as broadly supportive of equities over other asset classes -- and data showing businesses were becoming more confident in the durability of the economic recovery.

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