Rise in oil companies' shares steadies European equities

miércoles 18 de junio de 2014 10:44 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1 pct

* Oil prices rise as violence in Iraq persists

* Ct Suisse upgrades energy equity sector to "benchmark"

* Investors eyeing Fed decisions (1800 GMT)

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - European stock markets were steady on Wednesday, hovering near multi-year highs reached last week, supported by shares in major energy companies as violence in Iraq pushed up oil prices.

However, many investors were reluctant to buy new positions as they awaited the conclusion of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting later in the day.

The price of Brent crude oil rose towards $114 a barrel on Wednesday as Sunni militants pushed forward in northern Iraq, striking the country's biggest refinery and stoking worries about oil exports as some firms pulled foreign oil workers out of the country.

This in turn pushed up the share prices of oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total which together added the most points to the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index.   Continuación...