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Wednesday 20th of August 2008
October 26, 2006

European telecoms higher on session


by Elaine Frei

Despite gains in the telecommunications sector, the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was lower on Thursday, dropping 0.2 percent to 1,452.33.

Telefonica added 1.6 percent to €14.85, while Deutsche Telekom gained 2.1 percent to €13.22 and Cosmote of Greece was 2.6 percent higher to €18.98. France Telecom was up 3.6 percent to €20.10 on a gain of 3.5 percent in underlying profits thanks to income from foreign purchases. FT was also helped by positive comments from Bear Stearns. Norwegian telecom Telenor added 7 percent to NKr96.60 on its third-quarter earnings report, which was better than had been anticipated and elicited glowing remarks from both Citigroup and Bear Stearns.

ThyssenKrupp added 2.8 percent to €30.82 on rumors that US steel maker Nucor could be ready to make a bid for the German company.

The pharmaceuticals sector was also lower, with Sanofi-Aventis dropping 0.6 percent to €69.70 on the news from Bristol-Myers Squibb reported earnings down in the third quarter. Sales of the blood-thinner Plavix, which Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb partner in, were hurt by generic drugs that serve the same purpose. Also not helping the sector was the 7 percent decline on the day by AstraZeneca in the UK after the failure of trials for an experimental stroke drug.

Tiremakers were mixed on the session, with Michelin up 0.6 percent to €63.45 on positive comments from Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile, Continental dropped 3.9 percent to €88.50 on a reduction of its earnings-per-share estimate from Morgan Stanley.

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