Eurofirst slightly higher

| April 13, 2006 | 0 Comments

In Europe on Thursday, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up slightly ahead of the Good Friday holiday tomorrow, but volumes were low. The Eurofirst added 0.3 percent on the day to 1,369.26.

Utilities were mixed. HSBC upgraded Suez from “neutral” to “overweight” in anticipation of the proposed merger with Gaz de France, but Suez still dropped 0.2 percent to €30.97 despite a raised target share price, up to €35. HSBC initiated coverage of Gaz de France with a rating of “overweight” and a target share price of €33. As a consequence, Gaz de France was up 0.1 percent to €28.15.

Elsewhere in the sector, Electricite de France was up 2.8 percent to €47.12. HSBC initiated coverage with a “neutral” rating and a target share price of €38, but Morgan Stanley reiterated its “overweight” rating and raised the utility’s target share price to €50. German utility RWE added 1.4 percent to €72.06.

Stock exchanges were up on the day. Euronext was up 1 percent to €68 on a report that five French banks that own a combined 9.7 percent stake in the exchange were in talks to enter into a shareholder pact that would allow them in future merger decisions. The London Stock Exchange added 2.8 percent to £12.32 after it said that it could withstand bid pressure alone but was thinking about mergers with other exchanges.

In the telecommunications sector, equipment maker Ericsson gained 0.7 percent to SKr29.50 on the news that its joint venture with Sony had sold 13.3 million handsets during the first quarter, slightly above its prediction of 13.1 million, which put profits and sales above forecasts for the quarter.

Ericsson’s report helped the semiconductor sector. Infineon added 3 percent to €8.87 and ASML was up 1.3 percent to €16.71.

Among retailers, Carrefour advanced by 3.7 percent to €44.57 as it said it’s first-quarter sales were up 8.3 percent.

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Leave a Reply

Visited 992 times, 1 so far today