Stimulus still key as European shares extend rebound

LONDON Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:36am EST

LONDON Feb 28 (Reuters) - European shares enjoyed another day of gains on Thursday, buoyed by fresh signs of central bank support and upbeat corporate results, which helped indexes continue to recover losses sustained post the Italian elections.

The FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closed the last trading day of February up 11.08 points, or 1 percent, at 1,176.66, and have now recouped most of the losses sustained on Tuesday after Italian elections ended in a stalemate.

Pledges by the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve this week to continue with steps to inject liquidity into markets, have propped up the global economy and equities.

"Markets have bounced well from the sell off earlier in the week. Volumes, however, have been low and without the support from central banks and governments the indexes would be much lower than the levels we are currently at," Jawaid Afsar, sales trader at SecurEquity, said.

Among the leading gainers in Europe were British Airways owner International Airlines, up 8.1 percent, the world's largest maker of opthalmic lenses Essilor, rising 6.6 percent, and Airbus parent EADS, climbing 5.5 percent, all buoyed by optimistic outlooks.

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