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European shares halt two-week rally; Yellen eyed

PARIS – European shares were flat in early trading on Friday, taking a breather following a brisk two-week rally, with investors turning cautious ahead of a speech by US.


European shares was up 0.04 per cent at 1,355.66 points, after gaining 2.3 per cent in the past four sessions, set to record its biggest weekly gain in six months. Yellen is due to speak later in the day at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Investors will be looking for any fresh signals about the timing of US interest rate increases.


Minutes from the Fed's July meeting showed policymakers debated whether interest rates should be raised earlier given a surprisingly strong job market recovery.


The FTSEurofirst 300 has risen 4.5 per cent since a low hit two weeks ago, regaining ground following a sell-off triggered in June by worries over the crisis in Ukraine. But despite the sharp two-week rally, the index is still down 3.2 per cent from a 5-1/2 year high hit in June.


“European indexes are halted by big resistance levels. At this point, investors should think about hedging their portfolios, even if the US market continues to rally,” Aurel


BGC chartist Gerard Sagnier said. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was flat, at 3,125.34 points. In the first minutes of trading,the index tested a key resistance level representing its 200-day moving average, before slightly retreating.


Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.1 per cent, Germany's DAX index up 0.1 per cent, and France's CAC 40 down 0.1 per cent.

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