France leads European shares towards 3rd straight week of gains

viernes 21 de febrero de 2014 11:26 GYT

* FTSEurofirst up 0.3 pct, CAC hits highest since 2008

* Technip, Saint-Gobain enjoy upgrades following results

* French index reverses last year's underperformance

* Vodafone adds most points after Verizon deal completed

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - France's CAC 40 index hit a 5-1/2-year peak to lead European shares higher on Friday, with an index of top shares in the region set for its third straight week of gains.

French-listed oil services group Technip and construction firm Saint-Gobain rose 3.4 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, buoyed as banks lifted their target prices for the stocks after they reported results earlier in the week.

Saint-Gobain is now up 4 percent since reporting a sales and profit drop on Wednesday, with Berenberg describing the results as "solid" and the outlook as optimistic.

That continued a recent trend of French companies delivering decent profits and better outlooks, in contrast to last year, when a weak economy hit earnings and caused the CAC to underperform.   Continuación...