LONDON May 7 European equities nudged higher on Tuesday, bolstered by a crop of better than expected corporate earnings and with the German DAX index closing in on record highs.
Commerzbank, reinsurer Munich Re and brewer Carlsberg were among companies posting better than expected numbers, adding some cheer to what has generally been a fairly mixed first quarter earnings season in Europe.
The FTSEurofirst 300 added 0.1 percent to 1,218.95 points by 0707 GMT, boosted by the reopening of the London market after a long weekend and also taking heart from Monday's reiteration by the European Central Bank that it is ready to offer further economic stimulus if needed.
Germany's DAX gained 0.2 percent to 8,130.94 points , heading into tough technical resistance ahead of its 2007 peak at 8,151,57.
"I think the markets are going to continue going higher, the S&P hit another record high yesterday, the DAX is getting closer," said Neil Marsh, strategist at Newedge.
"From a very low base, everyone is fairly optimistic that things are going to improve and if they don't, you've got the added backdrop from (ECB President Mario) Draghi that he'll do whatever it takes to push the euro zone economy forwards."