(Corrects headline to show 5-week high, not 5-month high)
LONDON, July 11 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