September 2, 2013 5:32 pm

Mining and telecoms lead Europe’s surge

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European equity markets firmed as manufacturing activity in China boosted the region’s miners and metals producers while telecommunications were lifted by the increasing pace of deals in the sector.

The mammoth $130bn deal between Vodafone and Verizon will leave the UK’s Vodafone with a large war chest for future acquisitions and the company is expected to expand its focus on deals that will give it a greater presence in the market for bundled mobile, broadband, fixed-line telecoms and TV services.

Among the European companies rallying strongly were Telecom Italia, up 3.9 per cent to €0.55, while Norway-listed Telenor climbed 2 per cent to NKr129.70 and Deutsche Telekom added 1.3 per cent to €9.82. Spain’s Jazztel climbed 2.8 per cent to €7.06.

Dutch telecoms group KPN, however, ended flat at €2.21 after Mexican suitor América Móvil last week said it had no plans to sweeten its €7.2bn offer.

Stronger than expected Chinese manufacturing PMI data helped lift the region’s metals producers on hopes of increased demand.

French steelmaker ArcelorMittal climbed 4 per cent to €10.10 while German rival ThyssenKrupp added 2.3 per cent to €16.27.

Havas, the French advertising agency, climbed 6 per cent to €5.82 after Barclays raised its target price to €6 from €5.50.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank reiterated its core-buy rating. The company reported stronger than expected earnings last week.

German biotech group Evotec jumped 10.9 per cent to €2.91 after US Biotechnology fund BVF Partners invested €30m in the company.

Banks also made a strong impression on the overall market gains, pushing the FTSE Eurofirst 300 1.8 per cent higher to 1,217.01.

Among the financials, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo climbed 3.4 per cent to €1.54, France’s BNP Paribas added 3.2 per cent to €48.95 and Swiss private bank Julius Baer rose 3.5 per cent to SFr42.44.

Swiss insurer Helvetia Holding rose 3.3 per cent to SFr412 after reporting a 15 per cent rise in first-half net income to SFr179.5m, beating expectations.

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