* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.6 pct
* FTSEurofirst 300 rises to level not seen since Sept 2008
* Vodafone surges on Verizon tie-up talk
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, March 6 European shares hit their highest
since the 2008 collapse of U.S. bank Lehman Brothers on
Wednesday, building on their biggest jump so far this year on
hopes of a broader global economic recovery.
Vodafone Group surged in early trade on reports of
tie-up talks with Verizon Communications, adding momentum
to markets which look to have regained steam after a pause
around Italian elections last week.
At 0829 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,192.34 points, after
vaulting over its 2011 intraday peak and hitting a 4-1/2 year
high of 1,193.35 points.
"Indexes are breaking above big resistance levels and this
is creating room on the upside," said Lionel Jardin, head of
institutional sales at Assya Capital, in Paris.
"The sentiment is that central banks are going to remain
very accommodative for a while... In this environment, we're
seeing more and more people switching from money markets and
government bonds and into equities."
Tuesday's roughly two percent gain for most European markets
was the biggest since the first day of 2013 and was based
largely on hopeful signs on the U.S. economy and expectations of
strong pledges to support growth from central banks this week.
Janet Yellen, the U.S. Federal Reserve's influential vice
chairwoman, fuelled the rally this week by saying the Fed's
aggressive monetary stimulus was warranted.
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England both meet
on Thursday, and many analysts expect at least a hint from the
former that it is moving towards another cut in interest rates.
Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.3
percent, Germany's DAX index up 1.2 percent, and
France's CAC 40 up 0.3 percent, while the euro zone's
blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.5 percent at
Vodafone was by far the biggest gainer among Europe's blue
chips, up 6 percent, boosted by a report the UK telecom group is
on talks with U.S. peer Verizon Communications about a potential
Despite this week's strong gains in stocks, TradingSat
technical analyst Alexandre Tixier said it's probably better to
wait for a pull-back before further buying equities at this
"With the ECB, BoE and the U.S. payrolls this week, I don't
think it's a good idea to buy following such a rally," he said.
"The medium trend is positive, but multi-year highs are
never good entry levels. We're going wait for a pull-back before
getting in. It might take of a few days before we get that, but
it's worth staying on the sidelines meanwhile."
Tixier recommended buying individual stocks rather than
indexes or exchange-traded funds, and said he is positive on the
shares of French banks Credit Agricole and Societe
Generale, although he suggested waiting for a
pull-back before buying.