European shares extend rally to 5 days; BP surges

By Brian Gorman

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose for a fifth straight day on Monday, with BP (BP.L: ) surging on reports it may sell assets, although some traders said they remained cautious ahead of the start of the U.S. results season.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of leading European shares rose 0.4 percent to close at 1,025.76 points.

BP surged 9.4 percent to its highest close in a month, boosted by reports of asset disposals to help pay for the oil major’s Gulf of Mexico spill and hopes for a new system to capture almost all the oil continuing to spew out of the ruptured subsea wellhead.

But BP is still down more than 39 percent from a peak in April.

“Earnings season is a risk. The weaker euro will help internationally-exposed European companies, but not U.S. companies like Caterpillar (CAT.N: ),” said Heino Ruland, strategist at Ruland Research in Frankfurt. “So we could see a divergence.”

The European market index had its strongest rise in a year last week but is still down 8 percent from a mid-April peak, partly on worries about debt levels in Europe. Analysts say it is unlikely to reach the mid-April level again soon.

“Technical analysts aren’t too bullish,” said Ruland.

Volumes were barely half the 90-day average for the benchmark.

BP apart, the energy sector failed to notch up sizeable gains, with crude prices falling as the dollar strengthened against the euro.

This also hurt metals prices, as did data showing a drop in Chinese copper imports for a third month in June, stoking fears of a demand shortfall, though the country’s overall exports rose 43.9 percent in June from a year earlier and imports were up 34.1 percent.

Miners were a drag on the index, with the STOXX Europe 600 basic resources index (.SXPP: ) fell 1.8 percent. BHP Billiton (BLT.L: ), Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Vedanta (VED.L: ) fell between 1.4 and 2.2 percent.

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ), Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: ) rose between 0.2 and 0.7 percent. The Thomson Reuters Peripheral Eurozone Countries Index (.TRXFLDPIPU: ) fell 0.7 percent.

Wall Street was lower around the time European bourses were closing. The Dow Jones (.DJI: ), S&P 500 (.SPX: ) and Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC: ) were down between 0.2 and 0.4 percent. “

Aluminum group Alcoa (AA.N: ) was set to open the U.S. quarterly results season later on Monday. Other major companies due to report results this week include JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N: ), Bank of America (BAC.N: ), Citigroup (C.N: ) and Google (GOOG.O: ).

GSK RISES

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: ) rose 1.1 percent as fears sparked by regulatory scrutiny of its diabetes pill Avandia subsided.

In the same sector, Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE: ) rose 1.9 percent on news that Russia has become the first country to approve its new multiple sclerosis pill, meaning that the German drugmaker has stolen a march in the emerging market on larger rival Novartis AG (NOVN.VX: ).

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

European shares extend rally to 5 days; BP surges