* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 percent
* Robust China exports data boosts sentiment
* Resistance seen on Euro STOXX 50 around 3,018
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Dec 9 European shares inched higher on
Monday, kept buoyant by better-than-forecast export data from
China, while concerns over the withdrawal of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's stimulus prevented investors from making big bets on
Data over the weekend showed China's exports beat forecasts
in November with a 12.7 percent rise, adding to signs of
stabilisation in the world's second-biggest economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.1 percent at 1,271.22
points by 0843 GMT, having gained 0.7 percent on Friday. The
euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50, which rose 0.9
percent on Friday, firmed 0.1 percent to 2,982.23 points.
Investors took heart from U.S. jobs data on Friday seen as
solid enough to back an economic recovery but not so robust as
to prompt an immediate scaling back of Federal Reserve stimulus.
But a Reuters poll conducted after the U.S. payrolls data
was released showed that an increased number of U.S. primary
dealers see the Fed so-called tapering in March, or sooner.
"I don't think we will see a decent rally into the year
end," Sanlam Securities' head of trading Mark Ward said.
"Investors are still wary of the Federal Reserve cutting
stimulus back sooner rather than later. We still think the
market is toppy at these levels."
European stocks have posted steep gains since late June,
with the Euro STOXX 50 jumping nearly 20 percent on global
central bank stimulus and as investors have moved out of safe
bonds and into higher-yielding assets, such as stocks.
This has propelled valuations above their long-term
averages. The STOXX Europe 600 trades on a 12-month forward
price/earnings ratio of 13.5 times against its 10-year average
of 12 times, Thomson Reuters Datastream shows.
Despite the strong gains on Friday, the Euro STOXX 50
suffered its worst week since August last week, down 3.5
percent, taking it through its 50-day moving average, now at
Charles Stanley analyst Bill McNamara, notes that while a
bounce off lows on Friday suggests that the losses on the Euro
STOXX 50 are likely to be contained, resistance is possible
around the 50-day moving average.