* Fed minutes suggest more caution over interest rates
* European shares advance
* Financial markets take soft China data in stride
* Thursday's Greek bond sale in focus
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, April 10 Equities rose on Thursday as
markets took heart from minutes of the Federal Reserve's March
meeting, which suggested U.S. policymakers would be more
cautious about raising interest rates than some had expected.
European investors also looked optimistically to Greece's
return to the bond markets later on Thursday for further
evidence that Europe's economic recovery is gathering pace,
dampening the impact of gloomy Chinese exports data.
The MSCI All-Country World index rose 0.2
percent while the similar MSCI World Index,
which only tracks stocks from developed economies, progressed by
In Europe the MSCI Europe climbed 0.6
percent while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares advanced 0.3 percent.
The MSCI Emerging Market index rose 0.8 percent.
The Fed minutes released on Wednesday fuelled a rally on
Wall Street, where all three major U.S. stock indexes ended up
more than 1 percent.
Financial markets also pushed out expectations of a first
Fed rate hike by about six weeks, to July 2015, trading in
interest-rate futures showed.
"The Fed minutes suggested that the Fed committee was not as
hawkish as some had been led to perceive," said Hantec Markets
analyst Richard Perry.
The dollar traded flat against a basket of six major
SUPPORTIVE BACKDROP FOR GREECE
Investors said that the tone of the Fed's minutes was likely
to set up a supportive backdrop for Greece's return to the bond
market just two years after it defaulted.
Athens is launching a five-year benchmark bond via a
syndicate of banks, and investor interest had already totalled
11 billion euros ($15.21 billion) on Wednesday.
Brent crude futures eased towards $107 a barrel on
Thursday on the back of the weak China trade data while gold
scaled fresh two-week highs.
Hampstead Capital hedge fund manager Lex van Dam said
equities remained his preferred asset class, still buoyed by the
efforts of the Fed and other major central banks to support
economic growth and keep interest rates low.
"This does continue to make me believe that equities are the
best play in town," said van Dam.
($1 = 0.7234 Euros)
(additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano, Blaise Robinson and
Tricia Wright; Editing by John Stonestreet)