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Sunday 09th of January 2011
September 25, 2006    

Oil sector declines in Europe

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by Elaine Frei

Despite gains in several sectors due to continuing mergers and acquisitions news and rumors, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.1 percent to 1,370.04 on Monday as crude oil prices continued to decline.

Speculation that Spanish construction company OHL was discussing a possible merger with French peer Eiffage sent Eiffage 3.6 percent higher to €78.25. OHL added 4 percent to €15.75. Meanwhile, Sacyr Vallehermoso gained 1 percent to €32.05 on rumors that Sacyr is thinking of adding to its current 33.3 percent holding in Eiffage.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, UCB of Belgium said it would purchase Schwarz Pharma of Germany, a move that Credit Suisse said made sense. The news sent UCB 0.1 percent lower to €47, but Schwarz was 17.7 percent higher to €89.07. Others in the sector were benefited by the news, including Novo Nordisk, which gained 1.3 percent to DKr432.

There was also bids talk in the airlines sector as Lufthansa was said to be looking to buy, although it said that remarks by its CEO had been misinterpreted. Lufthansa dropped 0.4 percent to €16.14. Despite the denials SAS, which was said to be one of the rivals Lufthansa was interested in, was 2.1 percent higher to SKr97. Ryanair added 3.7 percent to €8.45. The gains were helped as well by the falling oil prices.

Declines in the oil sector were substantial. Neste Oil fell 3.8 percent to €21.16, while Norsk Hydro dropped 4.5 percent to NKr138.75 and Statoil declined 5 percent to KNr147.25.

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