European shares drift higher, led by tech stocks

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) – European shares drifted higher
in low volume on Monday, with Mid-East political turmoil and
uncertainty around Japan’s nuclear crisis capping gains and
keeping the market in a consolidation phase.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top
shares provisionally closed 0.1 percent higher at 1,125.42
points on volumes of just 60 percent of its 90-day average, with
investors staying on the sidelines as the market awaits the next
clear trend for equities amid the geopolitical uncertainties.

“While the market has sold off recently, they have come back
now to test their prior trend lines which in theory should now
act as resistance,” said Andrew Dennan, portfolio manager at
Astin Capital Management Limited.

“It’s a period of consolidation as we reach these levels to
see if the world’s a better place we go through and if not
whether we sell back again.”

The STOXX Europe 50 (.STOXX50E: Quote, Profile, Research), the euro zone’s blue-chip
index, rose 0.1 percent to 2,914.69 points to hover around its
38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement of a low in November to a
high in February at 2,909.02, with a significant break above
this level seen prompting further gains.

Technology stocks including Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) helped
support the index after it rose 7.9 percent on the back of an
investment rating upgrade by Goldman Sachs.

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal)

European shares drift higher, led by tech stocks