European shares briefly turn positive on Yellen speech

LONDON Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:27am EDT

LONDON Aug 22 (Reuters) - European shares briefly pushed into positive territory on Friday as traders pointed to a dovish tone in a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.2 percent at 1,352.67 points by 1424 GMT, but was well clear of a session low of 1,345.58 points.

U.S. job markets remain hampered by the effects of the Great Recession and the Federal Reserve should move cautiously in determining when interest rates should rise, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a defense of her policy approach.

"Yellen's speech showed she's still unsure about some of the data we're getting, and as a result she could hold off from raising rates," Central Markets trading analyst Joe Neighbour said. (Reporting by Tricia Wright and Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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