Europe shares steady near multi-year highs, retailers support

EDINBURGH, June 11 Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:13am EDT

EDINBURGH, June 11 (Reuters) - European stocks opened steady on Wednesday, consolidating after a three-week rally led several indexes back to multi-year highs, leaving indexes at risk of a pullback in the short term.

Supporting the market was the retail sector, which gained 0.5 percent, the top sectoral riser, after results from Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz and Spanish rival Inditex beat expectations.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was flat at 1,398.16, having gained 0.3 percent on Tuesday.

The gains in Europe saw the FTSEurofirst 300 and the Euro STOXX 50 hit their highest since January 2008 and September 2008 respectively, while the German DAX hit an all-time high.

However, all three indexes entered "overbought" territory. The relative strength index (RSI), a widely used momentum indicator, rose above 70 on all three indexes, which is considered "overbought" and could signal a pause in the rally or a pull-back in the short term.

Taking the most points off of the index was Vodafone , down 3.1 percent after it traded without entitlement to its latest dividend payout.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Blaise Robinson)

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