Strong Wall Street open lifts European shares

August 17, 2011 17:43

LONDON - European equities reversed early losses to be about 0.7 percent higher in afternoon trade on Wednesday as a strong open on Wall Street and a rise in commodity prices prompted investors to return to the market.

At 1421 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 6.74 points at 975.90, after falling to a low of 955.94 earlier, as a summit between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel failed to calm investor jitters over the euro zone debt crisis.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 , the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones industrial index were trading up 0.7 to 1.1 percent after Target posted higher quarterly profit and Staples raised its profit outlook and revealed better-than-expected earnings.

"There is no doubt that we are getting a positive influence from the United States, where better-than-expected results have been helping, reinforcing that the corporate picture remains very bright," said Henk Potts, equity strategist at Barclays Wealth.

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