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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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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