European shares rally after Fed rate hike, Casino slumps
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.6 pct
* Cyclicals outperform after Fed's 1st rate hike in 9 years
* Casino slumps after Muddy Waters note (Adds details, updates shares)
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, 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 1.6 percent by 1530 GMT after climbing to a one-week high, while Germany's DAX, France's CAC and Britain's FTSE 100 rose between 3 to 1 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...