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(Corrects headline to show 5-week high, not 5-month high)
LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - European shares hit five-week highs on Thursday and broke above technical resistance to pave the way for further gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve allayed market concerns over an early scaling back its stimulus.
Growth-sensitive stocks like miners took comfort from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's pronouncement that a highly accommodative policy was needed for the "foreseeable future".
Although many still expect the U.S. central bank to start trimming its bond purchases as soon as September, Bernanke's comments late on Wednesday reaffirmed that it will only consider such a move if it the economy picks up.
"They're trying to remind the market that tapering is data dependent - they're not going to remove it unless the economy improves. So you want the Fed to taper," said Andrew Goldberg, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.
The FTSEurofirst provisionally closed up 0.6 percent at 1,197.03 points, moving firmly above its 100-day moving average as gold miners like Fresnillo and Randgold rallied in tandem with metal prices . (Reporting By Toni Vorobyova and Simon Jessop, editing by Tricia Wright)