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European shares on Friday hit their highest level in nearly two months as positive earnings, hopes of accommodative U.S. monetary policies and higher oil and metal prices help fuel a global rally. Traders cited a Wall Street Journal report which said Federal Reserve officials were considering maintaining a larger portfolio of Treasury securities than earlier expected as a reason for better risk sentiment. "Economic sentiment has been deteriorating for a while now but the difference between now and December is that central banks are reacting to it", said Mizuho rates strategist Antoine Bouvet (LSE: 0HDU.L - news) .
Euro zone government bond yields rose on Friday, tracking U.S. Treasury yields higher on improved risk sentiment in the United States on the back of strong corporate earnings and the apparent willingness of policymakers to support the economy. U.S. stocks rose on Friday as upbeat earnings reports helped investors overlook trade and growth worries, pushing yields higher as investors switched from safe haven U.S. Treasuries to equities. Some traders said there had also been a boost from a Wall Street Journal report which said Federal Reserve officials are close to deciding they will maintain a larger portfolio of Treasury securities than they had expected.
Euro zone government bonds were little moved on Friday as investors prepared for inflation data, while Italian bond yields steadied after falling heavily this week on expectations of a compromise with the European Union over Rome's budget. Euro zone inflation for November, due at 1000 GMT, is expected to come in at 2 percent, according to a Reuters poll of economists, against 2.2. Data showing slightly slowing inflation in Germany and a fall in U.S. Treasury yields on Thursday had fuelled a rally in core euro zone government bonds, as investors bet the European Central Bank could be forced to keep interest rates at record lows for longer because of economic headwinds.