LONDON, June 17 European equities extended gains
on Monday, led higher by telecom shares after the sector was
buoyed by fresh mergers and acquisition talk.
The sector rose 1.6 percent, helped by a 2.2 percent
rise in shares of Spanish telecoms company Telefonica
after a report in newspaper El Mundo that the government had
blocked a 70 billion euro ($93.4 billion) tender offer from AT&T
for the company.
However, oil and gas shares fell 0.1 percent after a
22 percent drop in shares in Europe's biggest oil service group,
Saipem, after the company issued its second profit
warning in less than six months late on Friday.
Investors were also trading cautiously ahead of any comment
from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke after its June
18-19 policy meeting.
"If Bernanke's comments help calm rumours that monetary
(policy) tapering is not imminent, then we could see a
short-lived rally in the market. But these concerns will
resurface soon as U.S. monetary easing could be scaled down in
the second half," Christian Stocker, equity strategist at
UniCredit in Munich, said.
"We have a risk that the market could fall 3 to 5 percent in
the summer months."
At 0722 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,181.76 points after
rising 0.2 percent in the previous session.