European shares edge higher, travel firms in demand

LONDON, April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 3:19am EDT

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Wednesday, buoyed by appetite for travel firms but still pegged below multi-year highs after losing ground this week.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,335.75 points, retracing all of Tuesday's fall. It had seen two days of falls following nine straight positive days - its longest winning streak since October.

The index is down 1.4 percent so far this week, and is set to snap a three-week rally which saw it post its highest close since May 2008 on Friday.

Appetite for stocks was boosted by a recovery on Wall Street overnight, although rising gold and oil prices demonstrated the market's vulnerability to continued tensions in Ukraine, where the United States accused Russian agents on Tuesday of stirring separatist unrest.

Alcoa kicked off U.S. earnings season on Tuesday, reporting earnings ahead of expectations as revenues missed forecasts.

"There are a number of reasons to be cautious right now, whether that be corporate earnings season, which people are fairly pessimistic about, or the ongoing crisis in Ukraine that has flared up again this week," Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari, said.

The travel and leisure sector gained 0.4 percent, a top riser, led higher by an upgrade to Ryanair by Barclays, with investors also focused on Lufthansa's traffic numbers later in the morning. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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