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Thursday 20th of November 2008
March 16, 2006

Eurofirst up slightly


by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 gained only a fraction on the day to close at 1,368.74 on Thursday on mixed results in several sectors.

The telecommunications sector saw investors’ interest raised after Spanish company Telefonica announced that it will buy out minority shares of Telefonaica Moviles. Shares in Moviles were 2.2 percent higher at the close, at €10.72, after having gone as high as €11.50 during the day. However, Telefonica closed at €13.20, down 0.9 percent on the day.

The automobile manufacturing sector was up on the day. BMW was barely up, closing at €42.72 even though it had been upgraded from “neutral” to “buy” by Merrill Lynch. Fiat was up as well, by 1.9 percent to €9.31, on news that sales were up by 11.5 percent in February, taking its market share to 8.8 percent. Also helping Fiat was data showing car registrations in Europe up by 2.1 percent. Renault gained 1.1 percent to €82.90 even though sales were down by 5.7 percent in February, reducing its market share from 10.2 percent to 9.4 percent.

In utilities Gaz de France was up 2.6 percent to €30.31on an increased dividend and a forecast for more increases in profits in 2006.

Among stock market operators, Deutsche Borse added 2.8 percent to €117.21on its upcoming merger with Euronext, which also saw an advance, gaining 2.1 percent to €64.

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