* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.1 pct
* Credit Agricole lifted by UBS comment
* TeliaSonera falls after firing 4 senior managers
* Experian knocked by Goldman downgrade
By David Brett
LONDON, Nov 29 Banks were the top gainers as
November ended in subdued fashion with European stocks inching
higher, and some investors bet on a rally to see in the
French lender Credit Agricole led the charge, advancing 4.3
percent as UBS added the company to its "key call" list, with an
increased target price of 10.80 euros.
"(It) is one of the most compelling self-help stories in the
European banking sector," UBS wrote in a note. "Depressed
valuation reflects continued market concerns about low capital
and high leverage at the listed-entity level, in our view. We
think these concerns are overplayed."
Volume on the stock was nearly three times its full-day
average for the past three months by 1519 GMT, against thin
trade on the broader FTSEurofirst 300 at just a quarter of its
average, with many investors sidelined around the U.S.
Telecom Italia spiked 4.5 percent higher in late
afternoon trade after an activist shareholder campaign to
replace the firm's board had little backing from foreign
shareholders, according to early voting data seen by Reuters.
More broadly, telecoms were among the laggards with
Sweden's TeliaSonera leading the fallers, down 2.3
percent after four senior employees were fired following an
investigation into the way it had conducted business in the
Credit data company Experian was adversely affected
by broker comment, falling 2 percent with traders attributing
its decline to a downgrade on the stock from Goldman Sachs,
which cut its rating on Experian to "sell" from "neutral" on
"We think there is a risk Experian shares derate from
all-time high multiples as organic growth slows and returns
fall," Goldman said, adding it sees 15 percent potential
RALLY'S TOO TIGHT TO MENTION
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent at 1,307.14
points, having posted its highest closing level in five years
the previous day. The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50
rose 0.1 percent, to 3,096.12 points.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was on track for its third straight
month of gains. European stocks have posted a sharp rise since
late June, with the Euro STOXX 50 jumping nearly 25 percent on
global central bank stimulus and as investors have moved out of
safe bonds and into higher-yielding assets, such as stocks.
"The current market bias favours equity markets," Ishaq
Siddiqi, market strategist at ETX Capital, said.
"It looks like we can expect this pattern to continue in to
year-end and in to the first quarter of 2014 until the market
starts to get nervous about the actual start of any Fed
In a sign of optimism, the Euro STOXX 50 Volatility Index
which reflects options pricing and demand to protect
against falls in the underlying cash market index, while up on
Friday, is trading around low levels not seen since early 2007.
Valerie Gastaldy, head of technical analysis firm Day By
Day, targeted 3,170 on the Euro STOXX 50 for December or the
first days of January, seeing scope for any near-term downward
movement to be limited to 3,060.
The market showed little reaction to an acceleration in euro
zone consumer inflation to 0.9 percent in November, up from 0.7
percent in October and ahead of market expectations for 0.8
percent, easing pressure on the European Central Bank to add