* FTSEurofirst up 0.37 point
* Miners fall, Randgold suffers after results
* BG, Shell firm on earnings beats
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, May 2 European shares rose were slightly
higher on Thursday, held back from larger gains by weaker basic
Randgold Resources, a mining company, was among the
top fallers after it posted a drop in first-quarter profit.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.37 point at 1,201.90
by 0758 GMT, having risen almost 5 percent over the past two
weeks partly in anticipation of the European Central Bank
lowering its main interest rate by 25 basis points later in the
"I think you might see a big unwinding and blow out if they
don't do it," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital.
He said that in the event of disappointment, the
FTSEurofirst 300 would initially dip to the 50-day moving
average, at 1,181 to "see if there's any support" and, if not,
fall to 1,150 - around the start of the past two weeks' rally.
The STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources sector was
among the worst hit in early deals, down 0.9 percent, with
Randgold down 4.7 percent after its results.
The weakness was countered by oil majors BG Group and
Royal Dutch Shell, up 2.5 percent and 0.9 percent
respectively, after earnings from the pair beat forecasts.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50, which
has seen gains of around 6 percent over the past two weeks in
the run-up to the ECB meeting, traded 0.2 percent firmer at
"My sense of the situation is that a rate cut has been
largely discounted (in the move from 2,555 to 2,711) and, even
if we see a minor surge on the news, it probably won't be long
before selling pressures kick in again," Bill McNamara,
technical analyst at Charles Stanley, said.
McNamara said that in the near term, the 2013 high of 2,754
is likely to cap gains and, in the event that the ECB fails to
deliver, expected a "rapid retracement" of the recent rally down