European shares rally as Fed move shows confidence in U.S. economy
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 2.2 pct
* Fed rate hike seen as confidence in U.S. economy
* Cyclicals outperform after Fed hike (updates prices)
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - European shares surged on Thursday as investors took the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate rise and the prospect of further tightening as a sign of confidence in the world's biggest economy.
The Fed made clear late on Wednesday that the 25-basis point rate hike was a tentative beginning to a "gradual" tightening cycle.
"With the confirmation of the Fed rate rise due to a strong U.S. economy, investors took cheer as the decision formalises opinion that the U.S. economy is broadly expanding," said Lorne Baring, managing director of B Capital Wealth Management.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 2.2 percent by 1139 GMT after climbing to a one-week high, while Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 rose by 1.5 to 3.4 percent.
"With the Fed out of the way and only a couple of trading sessions left before Christmas, we could now see a traditional end-year rally," Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global Markets in Brussels, said. Continuación...