LONDON May 15 European shares scaled fresh
five-year highs on Wednesday, led by gains for several major
Swiss stocks after a currency shift that should continue to buoy
the country's exporters.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
provisionally closed up 0.7 percent at 1,245.41 points, its
highest level since mid-2008. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro
STOXX 50 index rose 0.4 percent to 2,807.58 points.
The Swiss SMI index rose 1.5 percent to outperform
other European markets, with gains at pharmaceutical groups
Novartis and Roche, and food company Nestle
adding most points to the FTSEurofirst 300.
Clarinvest fund manager Ion-Marc Valahu said Swiss companies
were benefiting from a fresh fall in the Swiss franc
against the euro and U.S. dollar, which would continue to
help the country's companies export products.
"The Swiss franc is moving lower and it's benefiting the
exporters," he said.
He added it was difficult to justify bets on a broad-market
fall in the current environment, due to rate cuts and injections
of liquidity by world central banks which have hit returns on
bonds and caused investors to move money over to equities.
"It's tough to go against the flow of money coming from the
central banks," he said.