August 26, 2016 / 2:42 PM / 2 years ago

European shares turn higher after Yellen speech

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* STOXX Europe 600 index up 0.7 pct

* Gemalto surges after results

* Fingerpring hit by sell rating

By Danilo Masoni

MILAN, Aug 26 (Reuters) - European shares rose after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the case for raising U.S. interest rates had strengthened thanks to improvements in the labour market and expectations for moderate economic growth.

Yellen did not indicate when the U.S. central bank might raise rates, but her comments reinforced the view that such a move could come later this year.

“Markets had been half-expecting some hawkish noises around a possible September rate hike but it looks like the Fed chair is playing it cautious,” said Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.7 percent by 1418 GMT, with all sectoral indexes showing positive signs. The index was up 0.1 percent shortly before her comments were published.

Digital security firm Gemalto was among the biggest gainers on the STOXX, surging 5.9 percent after its first-half results came in slightly better than expected.

Fingerprint Cards fell 3.6 percent after Nordea initiated its coverage of the stock with a “sell” rating, saying it saw the company’s earnings hitting a peak this or next year.

STOXX Europe 600 Basic Resources index rose 2.4 percent, making it the biggest sectoral gainer, helped by a rally in metal prices after two straight days of losses. Shares in Glencore, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta rose 2.7 to 3.2 percent. (Additional reporting by Atul Prakash in London; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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