* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.9 pct
* Index fell last week to lowest level since mid-Dec 2014
* Broker upgrades lift Ericsson, LVMH and CNP
* But Casino falls on bearish S&P note
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - European shares picked up on Monday from their lowest level in more than a year, helped partly by gains at mobile telecoms gear marker Ericsson and luxury goods group LVMH.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 2.8 percent on Friday to its lowest level since mid-December 2014, rose 0.9 percent.
The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index gained 0.7 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent, although the DAX remains 22 percent a record high reached last April.
Investors added that European stocks were being further supported by a rise in U.S. equity futures , helping to offset another drop in oil prices.
“The fact that there has been a recovery in U.S. futures is helping European markets. Furthermore, there are some positive developments out concerning European companies,” said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Geneva-based Prime Partners.
Ericsson rose 2.9 percent after Nordea Markets raised its rating on the stock to “buy”, while a similar upgrade from Goldman Sachs on LVMH boosted LVMH shares by 1.4 percent.
Insurer CNP climbed after Nomura raised its recommendation on CNP to “buy” from “neutral”, but French supermarket retailer Casino fell 4 percent after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s threatened to downgrade its debt to junk status.
Some traders remained wary of the stock market rebound, with oil prices having hit their lowest level since 2003 on Monday, as investors braced for a jump in Iranian exports after the lifting of sanctions against the country over the weekend.
The U.N. nuclear watchdog on Saturday said Tehran had met its commitments to curtail its nuclear programme, and the United States revoked sanctions that had slashed Iran’s oil exports by around 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since its pre-sanctions 2011 peak to little more than 1 million bpd.
“I still think it’s going to be a struggle for the stock markets, given this weak oil price,” said Richard Griffiths, associate director at Berkeley Futures.
Today’s European research round-up (Editing by Keith Weir)