Euro Stocks Recover Loses as Telecoms Gain

European shares ended higher on Thursday, lifted by telecom stocks and by banks which gained on consolidation talk, while a dip in the price of crude took energy stocks lower.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended unofficially 0.36 percent higher at 1,345.52 points.

Telecom Italia gained 4.6 percent on relief that a regulator's ruling over termination rates was less severe than expected.

Cable & Wireless rose 2.7 percent after it said it was demerging its two divisions, and Vodafone gained 3.1 percent as investors bet on strong results, traders said.

Commerzbank gained 2.4 percent and Deutsche Postbank rose 1.2 percent on a German magazine report that Commerzbank and Allianz had bid 10 billion euros ($15.76 billion) for Postbank.

Heavyweight oil stocks BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total fell between 0.5-2.0 percent, tracking a fall in the price of crude to just above $132 a barrel.

Analysts said markets were likely to drift in the short term.

"We're likely to be range-bound," said John Haynes, strategist at Rensburg Sheppard Investment Management.

"A disorderly shrinkage of liquidity is unlikely but the question is: is there enough gas in the tank to generate much positive momentum?"

"I don't see a yawning chasm in earnings, but no positive surprises either. We're moderately underweight equity risk and moderately overweight corporate credit risk," he said.