UAE's $10-bln aid to Dubai market increases Europe shares

Abu Dhabi's move to provide $10 billion in aid to Dubai World lifted financial shares and pushed European stocks to a third straight session of gains.

 UAE's $10-bln aid to Dubai market increases Europe shares

Abu Dhabi's move to provide $10 billion in aid to Dubai World lifted financial shares and pushed European stocks to a third straight session of gains on Monday.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended 0.8 percent higher at 1,018.29 points, the highest close since Dec 7. The benchmark index is up 22 percent this year and has surged 57 percent since hitting a record low in early March.

Banks were among the top gainers, with Standard Chartered, HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole rising between 0.9 percent and 4.3 percent.

Deutsche Bank jumped 3.4 percent as it set its sights on achieving record pretax profit of approximately 10 billion euros ($14.7 billion) from its operating businesses in 2011

"Certainly the Dubai news is helping the banking sector. Basically it's something that brings some relief to the sector that has been underperforming over the last weeks," said Gerhard Schwarz, head of global equity strategy at UniCredit in Munich.

"Sentiment is still cautious because a lot of investors are very wary of what could go still go wrong."

Dubai said $4.1 billion of the money received from Abu Dhabi was allocated to property developer Nakheel to repay its Islamic bond maturing on Monday.

The excess funds would be used to help government-controlled holding company Dubai World, which has asked creditors to agree to restructure $26 billion of its debt, up until the end of April 2010, a Dubai government statement said.

The market was also helped by Citigroup's plan to repay the money it owes the U.S. government, including issuing $17 billion of stock immediately, as the bank looks to end the executive pay restrictions that came with the bailout.

Lloyds, however, fell 1.9 percent after It completed a record 13.5 billion pound ($21.9 billion) rights issue which ended a turbulent period for the bank and shifted investor focus to a potential government stake sale in 2010.

M&A news boosts energy

Energy shares gained ground on news that Exxon Mobil Corp will buy XTO Energy Inc in an all-stock deal valued at about $30 billion, in a move that thrusts the U.S. energy giant to the forefront of North America's fast-growing natural gas industry.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group, Tullow Oil, Repsol, Total and StatoilHydro added 0.6 to 3.2 percent.

Economic data also helped the market. The Bank of Japan released its closely watched tankan survey of corporate activity, showing the headline index for big manufacturers' sentiment was minus 24 in December, improving from minus 33 in the previous quarterly survey in September.

Analysts remained positive on the stock market's prospects.

"Overall, many of the factors that have driven equity markets higher in 2009 remain in place -- loose monetary policy, low yields on cash and governments bonds, attractive valuations and cash on the sidelines waiting to be invested," said Mick Gilligan, head of research at Killik & Co.

Cadbury was up 0.6 percent. It teased shareholders with the prospect of rival bids and promised bigger dividends and stronger growth as it again knocked back a 10 billion pound ($16.2 billion) offer from Kraft Foods. French insurer AXA rose 2.4 percent. Australia's AMP Ltd and AXA raised their bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings by 16 percent to $11.7 billion, giving the takeover target a week to agree to the new bid.

Investor appetite for risky assets like equities was higher, with the VDAX-NEW volatility index falling 2.3 percent to hover near a 15-month low. The lower the index, which is based on sell and buy options on Frankfurt's top-30 stocks, the higher the market's desire to take risk.

Across Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 index, Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 rose 0.7 to 1 percent.

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Aralık 2009, 22:41
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