European shares edge up to four-week closing high

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) – European shares edged up to
their highest close in nearly four weeks on Tuesday, with energy
firms gaining after unrest in the Middle East and Africa pushed
crude prices to a two-and-a-half-year high.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top European shares
rose 0.2 percent to end the day provisionally at 1,143.98
points, the highest close since March 9.

Brent crude (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) topped $122 as the prospect of a
stalemate prolonging the loss of 1.3 million barrels a day of
exports from Libya loomed, amid unsuccessful efforts to end the
war and as clashes over the oil town of Brega intensified.
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Energy firms to gain included Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and
BG (BG.L: Quote, Profile, Research), all of which rose between 0.6 percent and 1.3
percent.

Analysts said shares could make further gains, even as
monetary policy tightens, including an expected rise in European
Central Bank interest rates this week.

“Equities will be the preferred choice – the price bubble in
bonds is about to burst – yields are not going to stay as low as
they are,” said Heino Ruland, strategist at Ruland Research, in
Frankfurt.

(Reporting by Brian Gorman)

European shares edge up to four-week closing high