European shares were set to rise on Wednesday, tracking advances on Wall Street and in Japan and extending gains from the previous session, as worries about Egypt eased after President Hosni Mubarak said he would step down and data suggested a strong economic recovery.
European shares made their biggest gain in three weeks on Tuesday, buoyed by strong manufacturing data from both the euro zone and the United States, while oil shares also got a boost from rising crude prices.
At least one million people rallied across Egypt on Tuesday calling on President Hosni Mubarak to give up power and make way for a new era of democracy.
The crisis has prompted bursts of risk aversion on financial markets over the past few days but on Tuesday investors shifted focus as improved economic data and corporate resultsin the developed world lifted stocks.
With Egypt in focus, the fallout from the European debt crisis has been put on the back burner, with only Ireland making headlines.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Tuesday gave his farewell speech and then asked for parliament to be dissolved on Tuesday.
A general election will be held on Febraury 25, drawing a line under the country's financial woes which led to a bailout and Cowen's demise as party leader.
With little macroeconomic data on the agenda on Wednesday, investors will focus on December euro zone producer price data for further signs of rising inflationary pressures.