* FTSEurofirst 300 gains 0.3 percent
* Miners rise, U.S. data reassures on Fed
* Analysts see ‘buy on dips’ mentality continuing
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Thursday, bolstered by mining stocks, as downbeat U.S. economic data reassured investors that the Federal Reserve would not scale back stimulus measures soon.
The FTSEurofirst 300 ended up 0.3 percent at 1,227.41 points, recovering some of its poise after a 1.8 percent drop on Wednesday and led by a 1.5 percent gain from miners.
Data showing U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly in the latest week was welcomed by some investors who have been concerned that strong numbers would encourage the Fed to consider tapering its quantitative easing (QE).
“We haven’t had particularly good figures today which might have calmed everyone’s nerves again... we’re back into the (theme where) bad figures are good for the market, because it means QE will stick around,” Mark Priest, trader at ETX Capital, said.
Uncertainty over the Fed’s intentions as to its economic stimulus measures has triggered a pull-back in European equity markets from near five-year highs hit earlier this month.
Losses, however, are seen as limited by investor appetite to buy back into the market on weakness, and an expectation that any tapering of the Fed’s stimulus programme was some way off.
“Whilst I recognise there’s ... uncertainty around that equation (of when the Fed might start tapering)... I think we’ve got another few months from here of the market going higher,” Ian Richards, head of equity strategy at Exane BNP Paribas, said.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said recently that the U.S. central bank could consider scaling back its bond-buying operations at one of its “next few meetings” if the economy looked set to maintain momentum.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index climbed 0.5 percent to 2,799.20, having shed 1.7 percent on Wednesday. The index has gained 6.2 percent in 2013, lagging an 8.2 percent rise on the FTSEurofirst 300.
GFT Markets technical analyst Fawad Razaqzada remains bullish on the Euro STOXX 50 which, he highlighted, is one of the most significant underperformers among global stock indices “and so has a lot of catching up to do”.
Razaqzada was unable to see any obvious resistance until at least 3,000 - around 7 percent from current levels.
“In general I think investors are still wanting to buy on the dips,” said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life Investments, which has 179.1 billion pounds ($270.7 billion) of assets under management.