European shares edge higher ahead of inflation data, cyclicals lead

viernes 28 de febrero de 2014 05:43 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 0.3 pct

* Cyclicals advance, financial services sector up

* Man Group rises; Erste, Pearson slip

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Friday, with cyclical stocks boosted by positive company news and expectations that a further drop in euro zone inflation may prompt the European Central Bank to ease policy.

Figures due at 1000 GMT are forecast to show inflation in the currency bloc falling to 0.7 percent in February from 0.8 percent in the previous month, according to a Reuters survey, but some analysts expected an even lower reading of 0.6 percent.

"The inflation data could be a trigger for the ECB to cut rates again. In the second half of the year, you could also see the central bank start buying assets in the American style," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said.

"These measures have potential to favourably impact the market."

A third of economists polled by Reuters has pencilled in a cut in the ECB's refinancing rate from 0.25 percent at its March 6 meeting.   Continuación...