10 de abril de 2015 / 13:58 / en 3 años

European shares hit highest since 2000 as euro falls

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct, hits highest since 2000

* Renewed drop in euro revives earnings recovery hopes

By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson

LONDON/PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - European shares powered ahead to their highest level since 2000 on Friday, helped by further declines in an already weak euro that is seen supporting an economic recovery and boosting corporate profits.

At 1342 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,638.69 points, surpassing its 2007 peak and taking its gains so far this year to 20 percent.

Germany’s DAX index, which includes dividends unlike most other benchmarks, was up 1.5 percent, hitting a record high, while France’s CAC 40 was up 0.2 percent to its highest level since 2008. Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.6 percent, hovering below a record high hit in March.

Shares in France’s Carrefour, the world’s second biggest retailer, rose 1.5 percent after it reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets.

The euro fell to 1.0607 against the dollar on Friday, having slipped more than 3 percent this week.

European stocks have risen sharply this year as global investors increased their exposure to the region on expectations the euro’s slide would give companies a major lift, as roughly 50 percent of euro zone firms’ earnings come from outside the region.

Strategists have said a drop of 10 percent in the euro versus a basket of currencies translates into a 6 to 8 percent rise in European companies’ profits. With the euro down about 16 percent over the past year, profits are poised to get a 10-13 percent boost.

This contrasts with a recent deterioration in U.S. earnings forecasts, driven in part by the stronger dollar. First-quarter S&P 500 earnings are projected to have declined by 2.8 percent from a year ago, which would make the quarter the worst for results since the third of 2009.

“The focus is back on the forex market. It’s mostly the dollar rising, and while it’s very good news for European earnings, the negative impact on U.S. results could be quite significant,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade in Dublin.

Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up

Editing by Susan Fenton and John Stonestreet

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