4 de febrero de 2015 / 12:12 / en 3 años

European shares steady, LVMH surges after reassuring results

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.04 pct, Swiss shares outperform

* Energy stocks fall back along with oil prices

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) - European stocks were steady on Wednesday but better-than-expected results from LVMH sparked a rally in the shares of luxury goods makers, while investors booked gains on energy shares after oil prices fell back.

Shares in Louis Vuitton owner LVMH jumped more than 7 percent to hit a record high. The group posted forecast-beating fourth-quarter sales growth, thanks to the Vuitton brand’s renaissance under star designer Nicolas Ghesquiere.

“Sales growth was particularly solid in the United States and Japan,” Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said.

Shares in rivals Hermes and Kering added 2.7 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.

Energy stocks halted their recent sharp rally, and fell back along with crude prices. Brent futures were down 1.7 percent, hurt by renewed concerns over global demand and high stock levels.

Oil majors BP and Total were down 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

At 1145 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was virtually unchanged from the previous day’s close, at 1,479.45 points.

Spain’s BBVA gained 2.8 percent after the bank posted better-than-expected revenues from lending in the fourth quarter and said it would now aim to grow more in its domestic market, where losses on loans are dropping.

BBVA’s results echoed a positive update from larger peer Banco Santander on Tuesday, signalling improving trends in Spain.

“They (Spain) have got momentum behind them and the recovery is broadening,” Markus Huber, a senior trader at Peregrine & Black, said. “On weakness, I’d be a buyer (of Spanish stocks).”

Around Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX index was down 0.3 percent and France’s CAC 40 was off 0.1 percent.

Switzerland’s SMI index bucked the trend, rising 1.5 percent, boosted by shares in luxury good makers as well as by a 4.5 percent rally in Syngenta AG.

The world’s largest maker of crop chemicals reported an unexpected rise in operating earnings and raised its dividend, as price increases partly offset the effect of declines in the Russian and Ukrainian currencies.

Today’s European research round-up

Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa in London; Editing by Susan Fenton

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