Eurofirst gains on US interest rates news

| April 19, 2006 | 0 Comments

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 closed up 1.2 percent to 1,384.01 on Wednesday as the semiconductor sector saw advances. The telecommunications sector was mixed. Banks, meanwhile saw advances.

In the semiconductor sector, ASML added 3.5 percent to €17.40 after it said that its outlook was good for the coming year and announced a share buyback worth €400 million. Even so, Dresdner Kelinwort Wasserstein reiterated its “hold” recommendation” and target share price of €17. Elsewhere in the sector, Infineon was up 3.3 percent to €9.05 and STMicroelectronics advanced by 2 percent to €15.20 on good sales news from Texas Instruments.

Telecoms were mixed, as Nokia gained 0.4 percent to €17.43 in anticipation of an earnings report due to be released later in the day but Ericsson dropped 1.7 percent to SKr28.80 ahead of its quarterly results, to be released on Friday. Nomura reiterated its “sell” recommendation on Ericsson, while Credit Suisse had more positive comments on the Swedish company.

Philips Electronics added 4 percent on the day to €27.32 after losing value on Tuesday despite a positive earnings report.

Among banks, Credit Suisse and ING each added 2.4 percent to SFr74.90 and €32.04, while BNP Paribas gained 1.6 percent to €74.05.

Schering, the German pharmaceuticals company, added 0.3 percent to €86.29 on a 4 percent gain in operating profits in the first quarter.

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