Europe's top shares crept higher today as investors cautiously topped up holdings ahead of a potentially tumultuous weekend when Greece holds fresh elections, with gains seen limited as broader euro zone tensions temper risk appetite.
By 0708 GMT, the FTSEurofirst was up 2.11 points, or 0.2 percent, at 992.29, having risen 0.7 percent on Tuesday, although overriding nervousness in the market was highlighted by a 1.3 percent rise in the Euro STOXX Volatility index.
"We're seeing tentative gains. It is not quite the calm before the storm but investors are trying to position themselves ahead of the weekend when the fate of Greece could be decided," Jimmy Yates, head of equities at CMC Markets, said.
Defensive stocks such as drugmakers, including Akzo Nobel, and food and beverage firms led gainers in an indication of the tepid investor appetite for risk. ( C) Reuters