* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, DAX up 0.6 pct
* Stimulus speculation helps euro zone stocks
* DAX gains ground for 11th straight session
* Energy shares under pressure as OPEC maintains supply (Adds comment, detail)
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday led by the German DAX, which extended its recent sharp rally on the back of encouraging data and expectations of further stimulus measures from the European Central Bank.
Gains were capped by oil-related stocks as Brent crude extended its recent slide and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) confirmed they would not cut supply in the face of falling prices.
The DAX was up 0.6 percent, rising for its 11th straight session after Germany’s unemployment rate touched a record low in November, highlighting the gap between the euro zone’s largest economy and its struggling partners.
At the same time weak inflation data raised again the spectre of deflation in the region, boosting Spanish and Italian stocks as expectations mounted that the European Central Bank would buy bonds in response.
On Wednesday, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said the bank might decide as early as the first quarter of next year whether to begin buying sovereign bonds.
“We had very weak data coming out of Germany for last quarter, but the data we’ve had over the last two weeks have been encouraging. Meanwhile, other euro zone data is stabilising but not getting better,” said Veronika Pechlaner, European fund manager at Ashburton.
“We’ll need to see more action from the ECB for the rally in weaker markets to be extended. With action next year expected, maybe only measures in December will surprise markets.”
A rally of around 20 percent for the DAX since the middle of October has brought the index within a hundred points of breaking its all-time high set in June.
Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Gain Capital, said there could be some resistance from a range between 10,000 and 10,050 points. With the Relative Strength Indicator moving into “overbought” territory following the rally, there could be a brief pull-back, he also said.
At 1504 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,393.48 points in quiet trade, with the United States shut for Thanksgiving holiday.
Oil-related stocks were under pressure, contributing 8 of the 10 top fallers on the index, as oil sunk below $75 to its lowest since September 2010 and on the OPEC decision not to cut supply.
The STOXX Europe 600 Oil & Gas Index extended losses to trade down 1.9 percent.
The energy services sector bore the brunt of the falls, while airlines rose to the top of the index as the cost of their main input tumbled.
Euronext, the operator of the Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Brussels bourses, said a technical incident impacting indices earlier on Thursday had been resolved.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)