LONDON Feb 1 European shares edged higher in
choppy trade Friday, led by UK stocks after telecoms operator BT
reported better-than-expected results.
Strong demand for broadband and tight cost control helped
BT offset the combined pressures of regulation and recession to
post a better-than-expected 7 percent rise in third-quarter
pre-tax profit, sending its shares 4.2 percent higher.
The broader FTSEurofirst 300 index was 0.2 percent
higher at 1,166.87 points, struggling for direction as key
economic releases due later in the day, including euro zone
manufacturing figures and a U.S. jobs report, kept investors on
"The initial data from the euro zone and the UK may give us
some direction but then again I think towards midday we're going
to see some volatility, low volumes and people staying on the
sidelines, Ishaq Siddiqi, a strategist at ETX Capital, said.
But Spain's Ibex shed 1.5 percent after the
country's market regulator lifted its ban on selling borrowed
stocks and bonds, is a sign some investors were betting on
declines in Spanish stocks after a 23 percent rally in the past