News Column

European shares hover near multi-year highs

May 30, 2014

LONDON, Rajab 30, 1435, May 29, 2014, SPA -- European shares held firm near multi-year highs on Thursday, with the region's main stock markets supported by prospects of new economic stimulus measures next week from the European Central Bank (ECB), according to Reuters.

Utility stocks underperformed after Citigroup cut its rating on some southern European utility stocks, such as Enel , due to the prospect that regulatory pressures and increasing competition could impact earnings.

Citigroup's downgrades led to a 0.5 percent fall in the STOXX Europe 600 Utilities Index, compared with a flat performance on the broader STOXX 600 index. The utilities index has risen 13 percent since the start of 2014, making it one of the top-performing sectors.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was also flat at 1,377.89 points in early session trading, hovering close to a near 6-year high of 1,380.52 points reached earlier this week.

Germany's DAX, which hit a record high of 9,957.87 points on Wednesday, slipped 0.1 percent to 9,926.22 points while France's CAC declined 0.3 percent to 4,520.32 points.

The FTSEurofirst 300 is up by around 5 percent since the start of 2014, while the DAX and CAC have risen between 4-5 percent.


13:25 LOCAL TIME 10:25 GMT

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Source: Saudi Press Agency (Saudi Arabia)

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