LONDON, July 26 Fresh signs of increased mergers
and acquisition activity pushed European shares back up towards
their highest level in nearly two-months on Friday, with some
traders seeing more gradual gains on markets in the near-term.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up by
0.5 percent at 1,215.21 points by 0705 GMT, while the euro
zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up by 0.7
percent at 2,758.91 points.
Andreas Clenow, hedge fund trader and principal of
Zurich-based ACIES Asset Management, said he was putting on
'long' positions to bet on further gains for European equity
"European equity markets may not be as strong as the U.S.,
but everything looks pretty healthy to me. Things are slowly
moving up," he said.
Another Paris-based trader said signs of merger and
acquisition activity - as evidenced by French group Vivendi's
deal to sell 85 percent of its stake video games maker
Activision - would further support to stock markets.