European shares return to near multi-year highs
* European equities boosted by ECB's Coeure comments
* Time to trim blue-chip names, mkt not cheap -fund mngr
* Greek shares rise on prospect of deal with creditors (Updates with closing prices)
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 policymaker said it would front-load an asset purchase scheme aimed at boosting the euro economy.
The comments by Benoit Coeure 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 ($19 billion) to German blue-chip companies' revenues, according to EY.
Athens stocks, which have underperformed this year due to worries over Greece's debt, also rose after the labour minister said Greece would soon conclude a deal that could unlock more loans.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed up 1.7 percent at 1,606 points, shrugging off a survey that showed German investor morale fell by more than expected in May.
The FTSEurofirst has now recovered its losses since the end of April, with some investors saying the past few weeks' volatility linked to a sell-off in bond markets had not altered their positive stance on equities. Continuación...