PARIS, March 14 European shares rose early on
Thursday, with a major index hitting a near five-year high,
buoyed by gains for insurer Generali and potash and
salt miner K+S after results.
At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,198.38 points,
surpassing an intraday high of 1,197.73 points reached last
Friday, a level not seen since September 2008.
Generali rallied 5.4 percent after the group
posted forecast-beating operating results, while K+S rose 3.6
percent after it gave a positive outlook.
In addition to the corporate news, the broader market
remained supported by recent positive U.S. data, which has
proved a counterweight to the persistently sluggish euro zone
"Everybody knows already that the euro zone is in a bad
shape," Christian Jimenez, fund manager and president of Diamant
Bleu Gestion, said. "So at this point we can't exclude positive
surprises, such a boost from the U.S. and emerging economies."