European shares bounce back; Alcatel surges

PARIS Thu Feb 6, 2014 3:17am EST

PARIS Feb 6 (Reuters) - European shares rose in early trade on Thursday, bouncing back from a sharp two-week selloff, with telecom gear maker Alcatel-Lucent surging 7.4 percent after posting reassuring results.

The market's rebound could be limited, however, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the day. Following a recent surprise fall in inflation, pressure has risen on the ECB to ward off the risk of the euro zone slipping into deflation

While most money market traders expect the central bank to keep interest rates on hold at the meeting, some speculate it could use other ammunition to combat falling inflation.

Investors were also reluctant to take fresh positions ahead of Friday's U.S. monthly jobs report.

At 0811 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,276.94 points.

The benchmark had tumbled 6 percent in the past two weeks, its sharpest pull-back in seven months and a slide sparked by tepid U.S. and Chinese manufacturing data as well as concerns over the impact on emerging market assets of reduced stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Bucking the trend on Thursday, Credit Suisse, AstraZeneca and Sanofi lost ground, down 0.7-1.6 percent, after posting disappointing results.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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