European shares inch higher; Philips rallies

PARIS, June 30 Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:08am EDT

PARIS, June 30 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher in early trade on Monday in the last session of the quarter, as investors bet that a raft of U.S. and European macro data due in the week will soothe recent worries over the pace of economic growth.

At 0704 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,371.78 points, steadying after a 1.7 percent slide last week.

Investors will focus on Monday on euro zone inflation data for June, due at 0900 GMT, which should show inflation stuck at 0.5 percent, the ninth consecutive month in the ECB's "danger zone" of below 1 percent.

Shares in Dutch conglomerate Philips gained 2.6 percent after saying it will merge its Lumileds LED components and automotive lighting divisions into a standalone subsidiary which could potentially be spun off. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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