LONDON Dec 6 The FTSEurofirst 300 index
of top European shares hit an 18-month closing high on
Thursday, with bullish technicals, improving global economic
outlook and attractive valuations raising equities' appeal.
The index provisionally finished 0.7 percent higher at
1,131.64 points, the highest close since late May 2011. The
index is up about 13 percent so far this year and has gained
nearly 20 percent from multi-month lows in June.
"We still have some risks, but the magnitude of the risks
have diminished and they are being handled in a better way.
Equities have been quite attractively valued and that's one of
the reasons why people are shifting money into stocks," Ben
Hauzenberger, fund manager at Zurich-based Swisscanto Asset
"Those companies that have quite a good set up in terms of
exporting capabilities should benefit going forward. The
software sector is an interesting place to be as some companies
are global and their cost structures are low."
Sectors more exposed to economic growth were in demand.
Basic resources index rose 1.7 percent. Chemicals
were up 1.9 percent, helped by a 3.5 percent rise in
Bayer after its Eylea eye product was submitted for
European Union marketing authorisation.