European shares edge higher, retailer Next shines

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 08:20 hrs

LONDON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Thursday, with Next among the top risers after the British retailer nudged up its full-year profit forecast.

The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3 percent at 1,160.43 by 0814 GMT, having risen 2.1 percent in the previous session on relief over a last-minute deal in the United States to prevent huge tax hikes and spending cuts that would have pushed the world's largest economy into recession.

"In the short-term I think there is not too much bad news coming out; I think most of the hurdles... like the fiscal cliff have been cleared so I think the markets will be fairly positive for the next couple of weeks," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets, said.

Next advanced 3.7 percent after kicking off the post Christmas UK retail reporting season by saying it expected a year to end-Jan. 2013 pretax profit of 611-625 million pounds against previous guidance of 590-620 million pounds.

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