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[LONDON] The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index advanced on Friday and headed for its best monthly performance in 5-1/2 years, with Germany's DAX share index outperforming after encouraging retail sales data.
The DAX rose 0.6 per cent after German retail sales increased for a fifth consecutive year in 2014, rising by 1.4 per cent in real terms, reflecting the buoyant mood among consumers in Europe's largest economy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.3 per cent at 1,477.75 points by 0808 GMT. The index has gained nearly 8 per cent this month, its best month in per centage terms since mid-2009, on expectations of a bond-buying programme by the European Central Bank, which was finally announced earlier in January.
Swedish hygiene and paper products maker SCA rose 7.9 per cent after posting a bigger than expected rise in core fourth-quarter profit despite higher raw material costs and headwinds from a stronger dollar.