CORRECTED – European shares edge up in subdued trading

(Corrects Royal Dutch Shell company code to Amsterdam listing
from London listing in second last paragraph.)

* FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index rises 0.3 pct

* Index on track for biggest fall since February 2009

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click on [STXNEWS/EU]

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, May 31 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares edged up in early
trade on Monday, recovering ground lost on Friday, with
pharmaceutical stocks gaining in subdued trading as key markets
remain closed.

At 0838 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,000.88 points, after
falling 0.3 percent on Friday.
The benchmark is on course to fall 5.8 percent in May, its
biggest fall since February 2009, as the euro zone’s debt crisis
persisted.

Trading was moderate as the London Stock Exchange remained
closed for a holiday. Wall Street will also remain closed for a
national holiday.

Pharmaceutical stocks were among the strongest performers.
Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO: ), Novartis (NOVN.VX: ) and Sanofi-Aventis
(SASY.PA: ) rose between 0.3 and 1.2 percent.

Novo Nordisk, the world’s biggest producer of insulin, has
refused to comply with the Greek government’s order to
pharmaceutical companies to cut their prices by a quarter.

After European bourses closed on Friday, Fitch downgraded
Spain’s credit rating, pulling Wall Street lower.

“It’s just a reminder that the euro zone crisis hasn’t gone
away. It’s still lurking,” said Bernard McAlinden, investment
strategist at NCB Stockbrokers in Dublin.

“It’s been priced into the market for a while now. There is
a sense that global markets might have done their worst.”

The two biggest Spanish banks, Banco Santander (SAN.MC: ) and
BBVA (BBVA.MC: ), fell 0.9 and 1.2 percent, respectively.

The Spanish savings banking system faces further
restructuring, following the recent nationalisation of CajaSur.

France admitted on Sunday that keeping its top-notch credit
rating would be a stretch without some tough budget decisions,
following German hints that Berlin may resort to raising taxes
to help bring down its deficit.

Across Europe, Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40
(.FCHI: ) rose and 0.3 and 0.1 percent, respectively

Spain’s IBEX 35 (.IBEX: ) fell 0.7 percent.

Turkish stocks (.XU100: ) fell 2 percent after at least 10
people were killed on Monday when the Israeli navy intercepted a
convoy of aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, some of the which
were flying Turkish flags. [ID:nLDE64U02G]

BP FALLS IN FRANKFURT

BP (BP.F: ) fell 5 percent in Frankfurt after its latest
attempts to plug an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico failed.

The index heavyweight’s London-listed shares, already down
more than 23 percent from a mid-April peak, are set to fall
further when trading resumes on Tuesday.

However, other oil shares were mixed, as crude prices rose
above $74, helped by the euro edging up against the dollar.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS: ) rose 0.6 percent; Total
(TOTF.PA: ) was down 0.4 percent.

Raiffeisen International (RIBH.VI: ), emerging Europe’s
second-biggest lender, rose 0.3 percent after setting the stage
for its planned merger with parent RZB with a first-quarter
earnings beat, helped by low risk charges.

Stock Market Research

(Editing by Karen Foster)

CORRECTED – European shares edge up in subdued trading