LONDON Jan 22 European shares climbed higher to trade near a 5-1/2-year peak in early trading on Wednesday, with ASML leading the technology sector higher after posting impressive results.
The STOXX Europe 600 technology index rose 0.8 percent, the top sectoral gainer, helped by a 3.5 percent rise in ASML after the world's leading provider of tools for making computer chips reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
At 0816 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,350.90 points after rising as high as 1,353.47 in the previous session, a level not seen since mid-2008.
However, the index was vulnerable to a pull-back as its 14-day relative strength rose above 70, an "overbought" technical condition that often triggers in a sell-off, analysts said.
"A short period of consolidation seems likely at this point ... the FTSEurofirst 300 index could see a drop of around 3 percent and a test of the 50-day moving average at 1,300," Bill McNamara, technical analyst at Charles Stanley, said.