Novartis, BT push European shares to fresh 5-yr peak

LONDON Fri May 10, 2013 11:38am EDT

LONDON May 10 (Reuters) - European shares scaled fresh five-year highs on Friday, led by healthcare group Novartis and telecoms firm BT on positive corporate news, and traders said key indexes had scope for more gains.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed up 0.3 percent at 1,232.44 points, its highest level since mid-2008 and rising more than 1 percent this week.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index rose 0.3 percent to 2,781.58 points, while Germany's benchmark DAX equity index set a new record intraday high of 8,358.23 points.

Some analysts said the market was getting vulnerable to a pull-back after the recent sharp gains, but the overall trend remained positive.

"People are going to lock some profits in at the end of a good up-week, but you've still got to buy the dips. I can't see anything to make it go off by too much," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.

Courtney-Cook said he had sold some DAX futures contracts at 8,350 points but added many investors were putting in new "long" positions to bet on further gains on the DAX futures.

"I'm seeing new 'longs' going into the DAX, 100 percent new money buying," he said.

Novartis rose 2.1 percent to give one of the biggest lifts to the FTSEurofirst 300 after gaining U.S regulatory approval for one of its products, while BT surged 12.3 percent after posting higher profits and raising its dividend.

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