3 Min Read
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 percent
* Aggreko firms on bullish update
* Deutsche Telekom gains on T-Mobile US report
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday, led by Aggreko after a bullish trading update, although concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will start scaling back its stimulus at this week's policy meeting could crimp market gains.
British temporary power provider Aggreko advanced 5.5 percent after saying full-year results were likely to be slightly ahead of expectations, driven by increased underlying revenue across its global power business.
It said strong cash generation and lower capital expenditure were expected to reduce net debt by 200 million pounds ($325.56 million) compared to the previous year.
Broker WH Ireland upgraded its full-year 2013 pretax profit forecast by 2.5 percent to 335 million pounds in response, highlighting that the debt reduction will create "further options for the business in the coming year".
Deutsche Telekom was another good gainer, ahead 3.6 percent, boosted by a report in The Wall Street Journal that Sprint Corp was mulling a takeover of T-Mobile, which is majority owned by Deutsche Telekom.
"We have long argued that Sprint and (T-Mobile) would be better off together, with potential long term synergies of up to $30 billon, notwithstanding the monumentally complex nature of the network merger," analysts at Bernstein Research wrote.
A trader said that although such a deal may not easily win antitrust approval, it was still proving positive for Deutsche Telekom's shares.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3 percent at 1,246.11 points by 0902 GMT, while the euro zone's blue chip STOXX 50 rose 0.5 percent to 2,937.71 points.
Recent robust U.S. data along with last week's breakthrough budget deal in Washington fuelled speculation that the Fed will announce a reduction to its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases on Wednesday.
That has prompted investors to book profits on risky assets, which have strongly benefited from the central bank's massive liquidity injection.
"It almost seems now that tapering has started to be priced in, the extent of the weakness that we've had over the last two or three weeks," Peel Hunt equity strategist Ian Williams said.
"I still think that the justification for tapering is not that strong, so if they decide not to, we could get quite a decent snap back rally."
Barclays Capital analyst Lynnden Branigan saw scope for the Euro STOXX 50 to rise to 2,999, the high posted on Dec. 10, going into year end.