Europe Shares Close at 1-Week High

European Market Closes Sharply Up
European Market Closes Sharply Up   

European shares extended gains to close sharply higher on Wednesday, with investor sentiment boosted by U.S. stocks reaching record highs, and a successful Italian bond auction. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally up 1.8 percent at 1,186.62 points, the highest close since April 3 and the biggest one-day gain in a month.


Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
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Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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In the U.S., the S&P 500 index set an all-time high, boosted by upbeat economic news from China and the Federal Reserve's latest meeting minutes.

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Minutes from March's Fed meeting suggested some policymakers see asset purchases slowing by mid-2013, before ending later in the year. Under its current quantitative easing program, the Fed purchases $85 billion in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities each month.


Cyclical sectors performed best on Wednesday, with investors in risk-on mode. Banks were the top performers, with the European sector index closing provisionally up 3.7 percent.