Intel boosts tech shares in Europe, Asia

HELSINKI, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Technology shares in Europe and Asia rose on Friday after Intel's INTC.O strong earnings reinforced hopes for a strong recovery in the demand for PCs and gadgets.

Fourth-quarter results from the world’s largest semiconductor firm roared past Wall Street forecasts and it gave a bullish margin outlook on higher prices and firm demand for server chips. [ID:nLDE60E020]

“This indicates a change in the sentiment,” said Hannu Rauhala, analyst at Pohjola Bank in Helsinki. “This should create more positive atmosphere for technology shares.”

DJ Stoxx European technology shares index .SX8P rose to a new 3 month high, and was 0.6 percent higher at 0900 GMT.

In Asia tech-heavy markets rose, with Taiwan .TWII closing at a 19-month closing high while South Korean shares .KS11 closed nearly 1 percent higher as tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics 005930.KS hit a fresh record high.

Global shipments of personal computers surged in the fourth quarter, according to research firms IDC and Gartner, helped by strong U.S. holiday sales of low-cost notebooks. [ID:nN13229692]

The industry trackers said continued strong sales of low-cost notebook and netbook computers during the holiday quarter and a big contraction in sales a year ago contributed to the strong year-on-year gain in PC shipments.

“Although the consumer demand has not been at its best, PC sales were good, which indicates that also mobile phone sales might have been good in the fourth quarter,” said Rauhala.

Top cellphone makers Nokia NOK1V.HE, Samsung and LG Electronics 066570.KS are due to report December quarter results late-January.

Shares in Nokia were 1.3 percent higher at 9.33 euros. (Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Mike Nesbit)