European markets hit fresh peak

July 15, 2007 - 0:0

European stock markets hit a new six-and-a-half year high on Friday following the record close on Wall Street.

A 2.1 percent gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average drove the FTSE Eurofirst 300 to 1,635.58, its highest level since November 2000, while Germany's Dax Index set a new high of 8,151.57. By late morning, the pan-European benchmark was up 7.45 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,628.7. Financial stocks, which have been hard hit by worries over the health of the credit markets, were to the fore, with Allianz 1.4 percent higher at EU173.35 and Deutsche Bank up 1.4 percent to EU107.38 BASF, the German chemicals group, rose 1.4 percent to EU98.51 as UBS raised its price target from EU92 to EU105 while Schneider Electric, also weak of late, rallied 2.4 percent to EU105.64 as Citigroup lifted its recommendation from "hold" to "buy". "A strong theme in the market is energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Schneider is a leader in the areas of energy efficiency/critical power and services, which put it in an also unique position to help customers optimize electrical installations in the commercial building, industrial, and energy & infrastructure markets," the bank wrote in a note. L'Oreal lost 3.9 percent to EU85.31 as growth in sales at the beauty group failed to excite the market. (Source: Financial Times