Shippers pull Eurofirst lower
Continuing worries about interest rates around the world sent European equities markets lower on Tuesday. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.7 percent to 1,269.90.
The oil sector saw substantial gains, however, as crude oil prices began to rise again. Eni gained 2.1 percent to €22.53, while OMV added 3.7 percent to €44.40 and Statoil was up 4.8 percent to NKr175.
Utilities were down during the day. Suez was down 0.4 percent to €30.30 even though UBS raised its recommendation on the company from “neutral” to “buy”. Gaz de France, meanwhile, was 0.6 percent lower to €25.55. The French government has postponed the bill that would allow the merger between Suez and Gaz de France until September. Meanwhile Enel, the Italian utility, dropped by 1.1 percent to €6.575. Some analysts believe that Enel is considering a bid for Suez.
Shipper AP Möller-Maersk B shares were the biggest decliners of the day, falling 9.3 percent to DKr43,000 on a reduced profits forecast for 2006 on disappointing growth in its container shipping unit. German tourist and shipping group Tui dropped 3.6 percent to €14.96 despite maintaining its full-year predictions for its container division.
European tire manufacturers were down after Japanese tire maker Bridgestone cut its profits forecast for this year by 35 percent because the cost of raw materials has risen. Michelin declined by 2.6 percent to €45.82, while Continental fell 2.9 percent to €77.51.