European shares up, head for best quarter in years
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher in early trading on Tuesday and headed for their best quarterly performance in several years, with Kingfisher leading the market higher following its plans to sell about 60 B&Q stores in Britain.
Shares in Europe's biggest home improvement retailer were up 4.6 percent after the announcement of store closure plans, part of new Chief Executive Veronique Laury's plan to shake-up the group.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 percent at 1,599.48 points by 0711 GMT.
The pan-European index and France's CAC, up 16 percent and 19 percent respectively since the start of the year, were on track for their best quarterly performance since the third quarter of 2009, boosted by the European Central Bank's bond buying programme and improving economic outlook in the region.
Germany's benchmark DAX index has risen 23 percent this year, its best quarter since the April-June period of 2003. However, the index was down 0.2 percent on Tuesday, after data showed German retail sales fell in February on a monthly basis for the first time since September.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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