LONDON Dec 16 European equities ended higher on
Thursday, helped by gains in food and beverages shares following
a jump in Danisco DCO.CO stocks on strong results, though
worries about the euro zone debt situation weighed on sentiment.
Appetite for risky assets remained high and the FTSEurofirst
300 .FTEU3 index of top European shares hovered near this
week's 26-month highs. The index provisionally closed 0.3
percent higher at 1,130.79 points.
Investors kept an eye on the two-day EU summit which comes
as Portugal and Spain face growing bond market pressure after
heavily indebted Greece and Ireland received EU/IMF bailouts in
return for implementing harsh austerity measures.[ID:nLDE6BE29I]
"The risk of contagion continues to play on investors' minds
and that is certainly one of the biggest macro risks that you
can point to as you look towards 2011," said Henk Potts, equity
strategist at Barclays Wealth.
"But the corporate picture still looks very bright, the
trend towards higher profits continues and public policy should
remain shareholder-friendly. The name of the game is to try and
hold onto the gains seen over the past couple of weeks."
Food ingredients and enzymes maker Danisco rose 4.4 percent
after it posted a bigger rise than expected in second-quarter
profits, driven by efficiency measures and sales growth, and
nudged up full-year guidance. [ID:nLDE6BD1OO]
(Reporting by Atul Prakash)