European shares edged up in early trade on Thursday, leaving key indexes hovering around multi-year highs and with investors forecasting more market gains in the medium term.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had reached a four and a half year intraday high of 1,193.35 points on Wednesday, rose 0.1 per cent to 1,187.61 points by 0807 GMT.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.3 per cent to 2,689.13 points, with French supermarket retailer Carrefour leading gainers after posting forecast-beating results.
Clairinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu said the broader upward trend for European equity markets remained intact, given expectations of a gradual recovery in the global economy and plans by central banks to keep supporting markets.
"It feels as if nothing can take this market down. People have given up on being 'short' because the market is moving away from them," he said.
Copyright @ Thomson Reuters 2013