European Shares End Higher After BoJ Easing

European shares advanced on Wednesday, led by autos, as the Bank of Japan became the latest central bank to launch fresh stimulus to boost its economy.


The FTSEurofirst 300 closed up 0.4 percent at 1,116.52, having fallen 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

The index, which rose to a 14-month high on Friday on the back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest stimulus programme, is up more than 11 percent so far this year.

"It's good that (the central banks) have acted—we've seen risk assets benefiting from that. But actually if the rally is to continue then we need to see tangible results and we're unlikely to see that for some time," Henk Potts, market strategist at Barclays, said.

"I don't think it will come as a surprise to us if we see the markets pause or slightly pull back over the course of the next few weeks until... we get that confirmation."

Still, investors remained on edge amid ongoing uncertainties in Europe after Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann likened ECB bond buying to the devil's work. Investors will also be waiting for any signs that Spain is closer to seeking a bailout from the European Union.

In stocks news, ASOS reported fourth quarter earnings. Sales rose 31 percent in the quarter. Inditex posted a 32 percent jump in first-half profit, shares were up 1.25 percent.

Also on Wednesday another retailer, French Connection , posted a 9.5 percent drop in its European and U.K. sales in the last six months.

U.K.-based home builder Redrow's shares were up slightly after it announced full-year results, showing an increase in profits, with house prices climbing in the country.

Porsche'srallied after a German court dismissed investor lawsuits against the company.

U.K. mining company Lonmin saw its shares move up after reports the company had reached an agreement with its workers who had been striking over a pay dispute for the last few weeks.