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Eurofirst ends higher for fifth week in a row

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by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent over the week to 1,448.46 for its fifth week in a row of positive movement.

The automobile manufacturing sector was up on pleasing quarterly reports. Fiat added 0.3 percent over the week to €13.86, while Renault gained 1.3 percent to €90.90 and DaimlerChrysler was 4.5 percent higher to €43.27.

In a related sector, tire makers saw mixed results. While Michelin added 4 percent over the week to €64 on a quarterly report that was about where analysts expected it to be, Continental dropped 5 percent to €87.49 on negative comments from both Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

The pharmaceuticals sector was lower. Sanofi-Aventis was 2.2 percent lower for the week to €68.65 and Novo Nordisk declined 4 percent to DKr455. The sector was hurt by the announcement from AstraZeneca in the UK that trials of a new drug to treat stroke patients had not been successful.

On the other hand, the telecommunications sector saw gains during the week on quarterly results and bids rumors. The biggest winner was Telenor, which added 13.2 percent this week to NKr103 after its quarterly results brought positive comments and target share price increases from a number of brokers. France Telecom also did very well, gaining 8.8 percent to €20.56 as its third-quarter report earned it target share price increases from UBS and Citigroup.

There were gains elsewhere in the sector, with OTE of Greece being the exception. OTE dropped 0.2 percent to €19.80 on rumors that Telekom Austria could be looking to buy a share of the Greek telecom. Telekom Austria added 0.1 percent to €20.01. Telefonica gained 5.5 percent to €15.06 and Deutsche Telekom was 6 percent higher to €13.52.

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News posted: October 27, 2006

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