On March 30, European share prices snapped a three-day losing run and ended the first three months of the year up 6.8 percent, the biggest first-quarter gain since 2006. This was after finance ministers of the eurozone agreed to boost rescue funds for the member nations.
The best performing sector so far this year with a gain of nearly 30 percent, Auto stocks, featured among the biggest gainers and mining and steel stocks led the risers boosted by increasing base metal prices.
The blue chip Euro STOXX 50 won 1 percent at 2,477.28 points and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended up 0.9 percent at 1,069.03 points.
"The quarter comes to an end with a positive finish for European equities, maintaining their presence in the recent range, albeit near the bottom," said Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Markets. "If the fourth quarter of 2011 saw Italy holding the spotlight, and the first quarter of this year was Greece's time, it looks like Spain will be carrying the weight of euro zone expectation in the second quarter," Hedden said.
"The bullish crowd is coming back to the market at these prices. There is now a widespread belief that the market is bullish and will rise to new highs," Valerie Gastaldy, head of Paris-based technical analysis firm Day By Day, said. "We're very conservative, and take on very little risk. We'll use short stop-losses and we won't let positions run for long."