Italian boost sends European shares to 15-year high

jueves 19 de marzo de 2015 14:01 GYT

* STOXX Europe 600 hits highest since 2000

* Pirelli, Enel boosts Italian index

* DAX underperforms, led by Siemens, K+S

* FTSE 100 hits record high; 7,000 mark in sight

By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) - A broad index of European shares hit its highest level in 15 years on Thursday, led by Italian stocks thanks to sharp gains in tyre maker Pirelli and utility Enel.

Shares in Enel rose 1.9 percent after it said it aims to raise profits and dividends over the next five years by focusing on emerging markets and green energy. Writedowns caused its 2014 net profit to fall 84 percent.

Pirelli rose 3.3 percent and briefly hit a 25-year high after an Italian daily said the tyre maker was working on a revamp plan that includes taking an Asian partner, the launch of a buyout offer and the de-listing of the group.

They helped Milan's FTSE MIB index rise 1.1 percent, outperforming all major European indexes.   Continuación...