European shares inch higher as euro falls further

jueves 25 de septiembre de 2014 04:09 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct, extends Wednesday's rebound

* Euro hits near two-year low vs dollar, seen boosting earnings

* H&M drops after saying sales slowing in September

* Miners hit again as China steel prices drop

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Sept 25 (Reuters) - European shares gained ground in early trade on Thursday, extending the previous session's rebound as a further drop in the euro fuelled expectations of a boost to the region's corporate earnings.

The single currency sank to $1.2715 on Thursday morning, its lowest level in nearly two years, reflecting a widening divergence between the monetary policies outlooks of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

After proving a major headwind for exporters in the first part of the year, the sharp slide in the euro - down 9 percent against the dollar since early May - is seen bringing much-needed breathing space for European companies.

The drop should give a boost of 3 to 6 percent to corporate earnings, according to analysts and fund managers, with in particular industrial and pharmaceutical groups such as Siemens and Sanofi, which derive the bulk of their revenues from outside the euro zone, set to benefit.   Continuación...