European stocks advance in early deals

European stock markets rose in morning trading on Wednesday, mirroring gains won by Wall Street overnight.
London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares climbed 0.40 percent to 5,911.90 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index gained 0.32 percent to 5,865.63 points and in Paris the CAC 40 won 0.43 percent to 5,182.56 points.
The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares increased 0.36 percent to 3,820.41 points.
The euro stood at 1.2833 dollars.
US stocks gained on Tuesday as falling oil prices and reassuring minutes from
the Federal Reserve offset a surprisingly weak report on US consumer confidence, dealers said.
The minutes from the Fed’s August 8 meeting showed US central bankers were cautious about raising interest rates too high.
Japanese share prices fell Wednesday, giving up early gains as investors turned cautious ahead of a series of key US economic indicators, dealers said.
Enterprise Inns headed the FTSE 100 early on — the British leisure group jumping 3.07 percent to 1,024.5 pence on positive broker comments. Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘buy’ stance for the stock and increased its target price to 1,200 pence per share from 1,060.
Gains to the FTSE were limited, however, by a slide in the share price of Corus. The Anglo-Dutch steelmaker shed 2.37 percent to 391 pence after the group said net profit plunged more than 62 percent during first-half owing to higher raw material and energy costs, as well as lower selling prices. Corus added that it would experience even higher raw material costs during the second half, as well as reduced steel production.
Among the biggest risers in Paris was French telecommunications equipment supplier Alcatel, which spiked 2.60 percent to 9.86 euros following positive broker comments.
In Frankfurt, Germany’s semi-privatized postal service Deutsche Post gained 1.49 percent to 19.77 euros after reports that both the Royal Bank of Scotland and Unicredito Italiano might be interested in acquiring the company’s 50.1-percent stake in Deutsche Postbank. In New York on Tuesday, the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.16 percent at 11,369.94 points and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite won 0.54 percent to end at 2,172.30.
The broad-market Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 0.19 percent to 1,304.28 points.
On Wednesday in Asia, the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s benchmark Nikkei-225 index closed down 0.12 percent at 15,872.02 points.
Hong Kong’s key Hang Seng Index finished up 1.18 percent at 17,284.71 points, as investors stepped up buying of property and banking stocks in late trade on hopes that the US Federal Reserve will keep interest rates on hold, dealers said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2006