* Gains on German DAX add most points to FTSEurofirst 300
* FTSEurofirst 300 ends 4-day losing streak
* FTSEurofirst 300 finishes up 1.3 pct at 1,258.31 points
* Euro STOXX 50 rises 1.95 pct to 2,978.77 points
* European equities buoyed by strong economic data
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Dec 16 European shares rebounded on
Monday from a four-day losing streak, led by a rise in German
equities that helped offset concerns over future U.S. monetary
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended up
1.3 percent at 1,258.31 points, while the euro zone's blue-chip
Euro STOXX 50 index rose by around 2 percent to
Gains on German blue-chip stocks added the most points to
the FTSEurofirst 300, as Germany's benchmark DAX index
rose 1.7 percent to 9,163.56 points to move the DAX back towards
a record high of 9,424.83 points reached on Dec. 2.
Germany has led a euro zone economic recovery this year,
with the DAX up around 20 percent since the start of 2013.
Data on Monday showed that Germany's private sector expanded
for the eighth month in December, while a surge in new orders
enabled euro zone businesses to end the year on a high.
Rupert Baker, a European equity sales executive at Mirabaud
Securities, said investors were slowly starting to take strong
economic data as a positive for equities, as opposed to taking
them as a negative on the view that central banks may feel that
there is less need for stimulus measures.
"At some point, the syndrome whereby strong economic data
can make markets fall has got to stop, and I think it's just
starting to stop," he said.
FED MEETING LOOMS
Equity markets have fallen in the last week on speculation
in some quarters that the U.S. Federal Reserve may start to
scale back its economic stimulus programme this month.
However, most investors still expect the Fed to start
tapering its stimulus programme in early 2014.
Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss bank
Reyl, felt equities remained the preferred asset class for
investors since they offered better returns than bonds or cash,
where returns have been hit by record low interest rates.
"We still believe that equities are the investment of
choice," he said.
Mirabaud's Baker felt European equity markets could rise by
another 3 percent up to the end of 2013. The FTSEurofirst 300
index remains up by around 11 percent since the start of 2013
while the Euro STOXX 50 is up by 13 percent.
Technical analysts were also upbeat on prospects for the
Euro STOXX 50, with the 100-day moving average, now at 2,930
points, acting as a support level. Valerie Gastaldy, head of
technical analysis firm Day-By-Day, felt the index could rise to
between 3,000 and 3,100 by the end of the year.