European shares hit highest since 2000 as euro falls

viernes 10 de abril de 2015 09:56 GYT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, hits highest since 2000

* Renewed drop in euro revives earnings recovery hopes

By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - European shares powered ahead to their highest level since 2000 on Friday, helped by further declines in an already weak euro that is seen supporting an economic recovery and boosting corporate profits.

At 1342 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,638.69 points, surpassing its 2007 peak and taking its gains so far this year to 20 percent.

Germany's DAX index, which includes dividends unlike most other benchmarks, was up 1.5 percent, hitting a record high, while France's CAC 40 was up 0.2 percent to its highest level since 2008. Britain's FTSE 100 index rose 0.6 percent, hovering below a record high hit in March.

Shares in France's Carrefour, the world's second biggest retailer, rose 1.5 percent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets.

The euro fell to 1.0607 against the dollar on Friday, having slipped more than 3 percent this week.

European stocks have risen sharply this year as global investors increased their exposure to the region on expectations the euro's slide would give companies a major lift, as roughly 50 percent of euro zone firms' earnings come from outside the region.   Continuación...