European shares return near multi-year highs
* European equities boosted by ECB's Coeure comments
* ECB to front-load asset purchases in May, June - Coeure
* Greek shares rise on prospect of deal with creditors (Adds comments, ZEW)
By Lionel Laurent and Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) - European shares rose back to near multi-year highs on Tuesday after a European Central Bank (ECB) policymaker said the ECB would front-load an asset purchase scheme, aimed at boosting growth in the region.
The comments led the euro to trade below $1.12 for the first time in a week, juicing investor appetite for stocks - especially in the exporter-heavy German DAX index. Euro weakness in the first three months of the year added 17 billion euros to German blue-chip company revenues, according to EY.
Athens' stock market, which has consistently underperformed this year due to worries over Greece's debt situation, also rose after the Greek labour minister said Athens would soon conclude a deal with foreign creditors that could unlock more loans to the cash-starved country.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.3 percent at 0927 GMT, though it pulled back from session highs after a survey showed German investor morale fell by more than expected in May.
The FTSEurofirst has now recovered its losses since the start of the month, with some investors saying the past few weeks' volatility linked to the roller coaster sell-off in the bond market had not altered their positive stance on equities. Continuación...