* FTSEurofirst 300 ends up 0.3 pct, off intra-day high
* Hits 6-1/2-year high after Scottish referendum result
* SAP falls on worries about price for planned acquisition
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The FTSEurofirst 300 index touched its highest level in more than six years on Friday after Scotland voted against independence, but trimmed gains in late trading on profit taking and on speculation about a downgrade of France.
The CAC 40 fell 0.1 percent, with traders citing speculation that a major credit rating agency was going to cut France’s rating.
The French share index underperformed the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which ended 0.3 percent higher at 1,401.53 points after hitting a 6-1/2-year peak.
Britain’s FTSE 100 index also closed up 0.3 percent, although off its intra-day highs.
Broadly, the market got support after Scotland spurned independence in a referendum that would have split the United Kingdom, potentially triggering financial turmoil. Scottish referendum results:
“It’s a relief rally as the market was viewing the referendum as a bump in the road. Now it is done and dusted and we turn our attention to fundamentals,” Commerzbank equity strategist, Peter Dixon, said.
Spain’s IBEX rose more than 1 percent in early trading as markets viewed Scotland’s “No” vote as having reduced prospects of a stronger push for Catalonia breaking away. But the index ended the day just 0.1 percent higher, as the broader market trimmed gains.
The northern Spanish region of Catalonia, accounting for a fifth of Spanish economic output, is a wealthy region with its own language and culture. Its long-standing independence movement has grown over the last decade, fuelled by the economic crisis and a refusal by Madrid to meet regional demands.
“There will be a continued pressure from Catalonia to take control away from Madrid and this will build over the medium term, possibly to its own referendum if the Spanish government allows one,” B Capital Wealth Management managing director, Lorne Baring, said.
Among standout gainers, British lender Royal Bank of Scotland rose 2.5 percent on relief following the Scottish vote.
“For the markets in general, the Scottish result is probably the best outcome because the ‘Yes’ vote winning was really not priced in and that could have caused chaos, with contagion to Europe,” Clairinvest fund manager, Ion-Marc Valahu, said.
On the downside, Germany’s SAP fell 3.8 percent, making it among the top losers in the FTSEurofirst 300 index, on concerns over a price tag of $7.3 billion in cash it would pay to buy U.S. company Concur.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Louise Ireland and Susan Fenton)