Europe shares extend rally; Deutsche Telekom jumps

Wed May 8, 2013 12:43pm EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.6 pct

* Deutsche Telekom rises 4.7 pct after results

* Momentum indicators show market ripe for pull-back

* Stocks still cheap vs bonds -Cholet Dupont strategist

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, May 8 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Wednesday, extending their three-week rally to fresh multi-year highs, and Deutsche Telekom surged after forecast-beating earnings.

The German telecom operator was the best performing blue chip, rising 4.7 percent to a seven-month high, while Spanish rival Telefonica fell 0.9 percent after missing analyst forecasts.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares finished 0.7 percent higher at 1,229.43 points, its highest closing level since mid-2008, while the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index added 0.6 percent at 2,784.62, a near two-year closing high.

The two indexes have risen about 7 and 9 percent respectively over the past three weeks on the back of strong support from central banks, and technical momentum indicators such as the relative strength index (RSI) show that stocks are now 'overbought' and ripe for a pull-back.

"The market is on life support from the central banks. The level of complacency in the market is very high at the moment and we could get a correction any time," FXCM analyst Nicolas Cheron said.

"It's time to take profits on a number of stocks that have performed well lately, and to hedge the portfolios."

The put/call ratio on the Euro STOXX 50, which is used to gauge investor sentiment, has been rising in the past days, a sign that investors have started to add protection to their equity holdings in case of a pull-back.

"Stock valuation ratios have been rising while fundamentals continue to deteriorate. This is due to the strong flow of liquidity and the appetite for yields, but we're not in a bubble," Cholet Dupont strategist Vincent Guenzi said.

"In Europe, the low level of bond yields would justify higher valuation ratios for stocks, and also the fact that sovereign risks have dropped."

The broad STOXX Europe 600 trades at 12.5 times expected earnings in the next 12 months, while Wall Street's S&P 500 trades at 13.8 times expected earnings, according to Thomson Reuters Datastream.

Around Europe, UK's FTSE 100 index added 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.8 percent, and France's CAC 40 gained 0.9 percent.

Equities were also underpinned on Wednesday by data showing an unexpected rise in German industrial output in March, fuelling speculation that Europe's biggest economy was recovering after a disappointing end to 2012.

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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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