European shares rise for 5th day on ECB stimulus bets

miércoles 21 de enero de 2015 13:42 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.6 pct, rises for 5th day

* Boosted by ECB stimulus speculation

* Greek shares fall as Syriza party extends lead

* SGS down 6.1 percent after cutting growth targets

By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - European shares rose for a fifth straight day to close at a seven-year high on Wednesday as speculation mounted about the size and timing of a sovereign bond-buying programme expected to be unveiled by the European Central Bank.

A euro zone source told Reuters on Wednesday the ECB's Executive Board has proposed that the bank buy 50 billion euros ($58 billion) in bonds per month from March.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares erased its losses after the report to close 0.6 percent higher at 1,431.06, its highest level since January 2008.

The index has surged 6 percent in the past five sessions on expectations the ECB would announce sovereign bond purchases, known in the market as quantitative easing, on Thursday.   Continuación...