European shares steady near 3-week high, focus on central bankers

viernes 22 de mayo de 2015 04:22 GYT

* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index steady

* Focus on speeches of ECB, BoE and Fed chiefs

* Vodafone shares gain, Richemont slips

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) - The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index steadied around the previous session's three-week highs on Friday, with investors focusing on speeches from leading central bankers due later in the day for hints about the market's near-term direction.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, along with other central bankers, will be addressing an ECB Forum in Portugal later in the day.

Attention will also fall on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak on the U.S. economic outlook before the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce late on Friday.

"There are plenty of speakers on the calendar today," Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine & Black, said. "Most attention is likely to (be on) Janet Yellen in case she provides traders with any new hints how far off the first rise in U.S. rates might be."

"Overall sentiment remains positive, however trading volume is expected to be moderate at best with many markets closed for trading on Monday."   Continuación...