* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 percent
* Stimulus expectations remain after Spain jobless data
* Kazakhmys up after update as miners rally
* Randstad boosted by Europe staffing improvement
* Asset managers climb as equities rise
By David Brett
LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Demand for equities remained
robust as Europe's top shares rose for the fifth straight
session on Thursday, supported by central bank stimulus and
boosted by results and M&A speculation.
The FTSEurofirst 300 climbed 8.82 points, or 0.7
percent, to 1,200.64, heading back towards five-year highs of
1,207 seen in late March.
Recent weak global economic data including record-high
jobless figures from Spain on Thursday has sparked expectations
of more stimulus from central banks.
"Overall investors see the potential for new measures and
the distortion of global valuations as a reason to hold
dogmatically onto their equities," said Guy Foster, head of
portfolio strategy at Brewin Dolphin.
"Shares are seen as a yield asset class with risks skewed to
the upside. Bonds have lost their appeal for the opposite
Low returns on top-rated government bonds are leading
central banks to take on more risk in their reserve portfolios,
with almost two-thirds more inclined to invest in equities
compared with a year ago, a survey showed.
The prospect of more efforts to stimulate the economy helped
lift heavily shorted miners, which climbed 2.4 percent,
tracking higher commodity prices.
"Commodities are up, shorts had been accumulated in
resources, energy and cyclicals and this is reversing, plus one
or two companies are beating numbers," OliveTree Financial Group
strategist Simon Maughan said.
Kazakh-focused miner Kazkhmys rallied 4.3 percent
after first-quarter copper output rose almost 12 percent
Kazakhmys' update helped boost troubled part-owner ENRC
, which is being formally investigated by Britain's
Serious Fraud Office on allegations of fraud, bribery and
ENRC, which is the second most-shorted stock on the FTSE 100
according to data from Markit and the subject of a potential bid
from a group of key shareholders, rose 3 percent.
The mining sector remains down about 15 percent so far this
year as broader concerns over profits, costs and demand from
China weigh on the sector.
Dutch staffing firm Randstad rallied 7.8 percent
on signs of recovery in Spain and Portugal in recent weeks, and
an improvement in other European markets.
Meanwhile persistent bid speculation helped heavyweight
British mobile telecoms firm Vodafone add 1.7 percent.
Reports said Verizon Communications has hired
advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion bid to take full
control of Verizon Wireless from its UK partner.
Fiat climbed 3.8 percent after reports the Italian
car maker is getting closer to tightening its grip on Chrysler
and listing a merged group in New York.
With equities in demand, financial services firms,
which include asset managers such as Aberdeen and
Provident Financial, rose 1.7 percent.