European shares inch higher; Spain in focus

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 08:01 hrs

PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher in early trade on Monday, reversing the previous session's dip, as hopes Spain will request a bailout eclipsed investors' worries about the corporate earnings season.

At 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,094.52 points, after losing 0.5 percent on Friday.

Euro zone sources told Reuters over the weekend that Spain could request a bailout in November and if it does, the request would likely be dealt with alongside a revised loan programme for Greece and a bailout for Cyprus in one big package.

"We're finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel of the euro zone debt crisis, and this time it doesn't look like it's a train coming," said David Thebault, head of quantitative sales trading, at Global Equities.

"But at the same time, U.S. earnings are quite gloomy, which makes people cautious at this point."

Banks gained ground on Monday helped by the Spain bailout hope, with BNP Paribas up 0.6 percent.

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