EasyJet leads European shares higher, focus on ECB
* FTSEurofirst 300 gains 1.5 percent
* EasyJet surges on positive profit outlook
* Focus on ECB's policy meeting
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - European shares rose sharply on Thursday, tracking strong gains on Wall Street and ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that investors expect will deliver a boost to markets following recent turmoil.
The market was led higher by British low-cost airline easyJet, which jumped 6.4 percent after raising its full-year profit outlook.
At 0805 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.5 percent at 1,416.95 points after volatile trading in the past weeks.
The index is still down more than 10 percent from its peak about a month ago due to a turmoil in the Chinese stock market and concerns of an imminent U.S. rate hike. However, the market has partially recovered on hopes that central banks will continue to be supportive.
"We are expecting some dovish newsflow from the ECB meeting. Focus will be on stressing that the ECB stands ready to act," Robert Parkes, equity strategist at HSBC, said. "We also don't believe that the Fed will raise rates in September." Continuación...