Europe shares rally as Fed pledges patient approach to rates
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.3 pct, tracks Wall St rally
* Putin will hold press conference at 0900 GMT
* Greek stocks dip in early trade
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Dec 18 (Reuters) - European stocks rose early on Thursday, tracking a rally on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen told a news conference that "patient" meant the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee was unlikely to hike rates for "at least a couple of meetings", meaning April of next year at the earliest.
U.S. stocks and bond yields rallied as investors digested the comments, which evinced faith in the economy while still projecting a slow-going approach to rate hikes.
"It's clear now that it will take many Fed meetings before we see the start of the normalisation process of the U.S. monetary policy. This is very good news for markets, with the first interest rate hike not seen before at least June 2015." said John Plassard, senior sales trader at Mirabaud Securities, in Geneva.
At 0835 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 1.3 percent at 1,333.81 points. Continuación...