European shares steady, Iliad jumps on consolidation hopes

jueves 12 de junio de 2014 07:24 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 index rises 0.1 percent

* Iliad, Bouygues up on sector consolidation hopes

* Miners slip on global growth concerns

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - European shares steadied near recent multi-year highs by midday on Thursday as a rally in some telecom stocks prompted by merger hopes in the sector was offset by global growth concerns which weighed on the mining sector.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,393.13 points by 1055 GMT, hovering just below this week's 6-1/2-year high.

However, Iliad rose 6.3 percent, the biggest gainer on the FTSEurofirst 300, and Bouygues advanced 4 percent on expectations of further consolidation in France's telecom sector.

Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday the government still wants to reduce the number of mobile telecom operators in France to three from four to bring an end to the "destructive spiral" of falling prices.

"You have seen signs of consolidation and we have got some more this morning. Consolidation is a good thing for the sector as it improves their market power and pricing, which has been a key issue holding back earnings in the sector," Macquarie strategist Daniel McCormack said.   Continuación...