* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct in jittery trade
* Investors taking off positions before Fed
* No change expected from Fed at this meeting
By Toni Vorobyova
LONDON, June 19 European shares were up by
mid-session on Wednesday in light and volatile trade as
investors looked to the U.S. Federal Reserve for clues on the
duration of its equity-friendly stimulus programme.
The possibility the Fed could scale back its bond purchases
has spooked global equity markets in recent weeks and, as news
of such a move was not expected from the meeting which ends late
on Wednesday, some investors wondered if the sell-off had been
Others, though, remained cautious, given that the Fed was
likely to leave the door open for scaling back in coming months.
"We are going into the Fed very, very flat with few trading
positions on at all," said Stewart Richardson, partner at RMG.
"There could be a bit of upside surprise, but we think that
the upside movement could be contained within 2-5 percent. If
they come out with something more strenuous - in terms of yes,
we are definitely tapering in September unless something bad
happens - then the downside could be more than the upside."
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,186.34 points
by 1010 GMT, having spent the morning darting 10 points either
side of the no-change line..
The pan-European benchmark is some 5.5 percent below the
5-year highs scaled last month before concerns about the end of
ample global stimulus sent markets into a tailspin.
"(Investors) should be careful and set their limits -
especially stop limits - very carefully, because if there is
some change coming up for the Fed policy then there could be a
dramatic drop for the market. But I don't expect such a change,"
said Oliver Roth, head trader at Close Brothers Seydler.
With the session approaching its mid-point, volumes on the
index stood at just 28 percent of their 90-day daily average.
The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips, up 0.3
percent at 2,708.43 points, meanwhile, was testing its
resistance around the 60-day moving average.
"We are neutral between 2,654 and 2,728 points. Prices are
consolidating," technical analysts at Day By Day wrote.
Among individual stocks, Nordic companies claimed both the
top gainer and the top loser spots in the FTSEurofirst 300.
Nokia rose 3.3 percent, after Huawei executive
said the company was "open-minded" about the possibility of
buying the Finnish mobile phone firm, even though Huawei later
clarified it had no plans for an acquisition.
Nordea, meanwhile, fell 3.8 percent after Sweden
said it has sold shares in the bank at a discount, cutting the
state holding to 7.0 percent from 13.4.