* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent
* Burberry rallies after 18 pct rise in Q1 sales
* Miners decline on weak China trade data
* Investors eye minutes from Fed's June meeting
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, July 10 European shares closed a touch
higher in thin trade on Wednesday, led by luxury brand Burberry
after a robust update, while weak China trade data
weighed on mining stocks.
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.1 percent at
1,190.02, led by a 4.8 percent advance from Burberry which
maintained its full-year guidance and announced an 18 percent
rise in first-quarter underlying retail revenue.
Basic resources stocks, off 0.9 percent, limited the
index's gains, after top metals consumer China said exports
unexpectedly fell in June and the outlook for trade was "grim".
Light volume, at just 74 percent of the 90-day daily
average, reflected investors' reluctance to get too involved in
the market as they waited for a fresh steer on the U.S. Federal
Reserve's monetary policy plans.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to speak on Wednesday after
the latest Federal Open Market Committee minutes.
Analysts said a recent bounce in European equities showed
the market was getting more used to the prospect of diminished
The FTSEurofirst 300 has risen some 7 percent from a trough
towards the end of June, more than recouping losses fuelled by
Bernanke's confirmation that the Fed would begin winding down
its stimulus spend later this year.
"Markets are essentially looking for a bit of colour as to
the timing (of withdrawal) but I don't think they're going to
get that," Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets, said.
"They've got to get used to the fact that we are going to
get some form of tapering at some point, maybe as early as
September, maybe December."
Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis
Global Markets, added: "The only surprise you could have is a
positive one because everyone's expecting tapering, so if the
minutes were a little bit more dovish than markets expected it
could even be a positive."
The Euro STOXX 50 shed 0.2 percent to 2,659.71
points, albeit with closes above its 200-day moving average,
currently at 2,636 points, for the past three sessions being
interpreted by some technical analysts as a positive.
Barclays Capital technical analyst Lynnden Branigan said
that failing any surprises from the Fed, while the 200-day
moving average holds, he expects a push higher in range over the
next two weeks stretching up to 2,718, the June 17 high.