* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.9 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 1 pct
* Some strategists reckon Fed will leave stimulus intact
* Robust German business morale data helps sentiment
* Endesa boosted by dividend resumption
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Dec 18 European shares advanced on
Wednesday, more than recouping the previous session's losses, as
investors positioned for the conclusion of a two-day U.S.
Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Shares have been weakening over the past two weeks on
concern the Fed will begin scaling back its equity-friendly
stimulus measures in December.
But a majority of economists expect it to hold off
undertaking the process until March, while strategists highlight
that persistently low inflation could prevent a December taper.
"I think if it does not do anything as I expect... that the
markets may take a positive cue from that and we will have some
sort of end-of-year rally," said Philippe Gijsels, head of
research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets.
Mic Mills, head of operations at TradeNext, reckons a
decision not to taper now could trigger a knee-jerk rise of
nearly 2 percent on the Euro STOXX 50 to its 50-day moving
average, now at 3,023.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.9 percent at 1,259.50
points by 1556 GMT, albeit in light volume, with some investors
reluctant to become too committed before hearing the Fed's
intentions later in the day.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 was 1
percent higher at 2,971.20.
Helping the mood, German business morale hit its highest
level since April 2012 in December, the think tank Ifo reported.
This was in line with expectations, but another sign that growth
in Europe's largest economy may accelerate next year.
Endesa topped the FTSEurofirst 300 with a 6.6
percent advance as the Spanish power firm said it would pay a
dividend on this year's profit, which would give it one of the
highest yields in Europe.
Volume on the stock stood at four times its full-day average
for the past three months, against half for the FTSEurofirst