European shares rise; autos, oils, banks gain

* FTSEurofirst 300 index closes 1.4 pct higher

* Daimler up on results; Fiat, Peugeot rise ahead of updates

* Oils gain on rising crude price

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, April 20 (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose on
Tuesday, with automakers racing ahead after above-forecast
results at Daimler (DAIGn.DE: ), and with energy companies gaining
from stronger crude prices.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top
shares rose 1.4 percent to close at 1,103.46 points after two
days of losses. The benchmark is up nearly 71 percent from its
lifetime low of March 9, 2009.

Carmakers were in demand after luxury carmaker Daimler
reported strong first-quarter results late on Monday and said
its Mercedes Benz division might earn twice as much as it
previously forecast. [ID:nLDE63I2DW]

Daimler soared 7.4 percent. BMW (BMWG.DE: ) and Renault
(RENA.PA: ) rose 4.2 and 4.5 percent respectively.

Fiat (FIA.MI: ) and Peugeot (PEUP.PA: ), both due to issue
updates on Wednesday, rose 9.3 and 5.1 percent respectively.

Fiat will say it is planning to split its automotive arm
from the rest of the group in a far-reaching restructuring, a
person familiar with its thinking told Reuters. [ID:nLDE63J0P4]
Some analysts continue to caution that the market has risen
too far.

“We’re finding it harder to find companies where you can see
material upside,” said Andy Lynch, fund manager at Schroders.
“It’s surprising that people are happy to keep chasing stocks
higher.”

Energy stocks gained as some European flights resumed
following the volcano turmoil, with Brent crude futures (LCOc1: )
rising to more than $85, as jet fuel demand increased.

BP (BP.L: ), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: ) and Total (TOTF.PA: )
gained between 1.8 and 2.0 percent.

Banks also boosted the index, regaining some ground lost in
the previous two sessions. Goldman Sachs (GS.N: ), charged with
fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reported
blow-out quarterly earnings.

But Goldman shares fell, as some investors chose to focus on
the fraud issue, as Britain’s market watchdog launched its own
probe. [ID:nN20251740]

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: ), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA: ), Societe
Generale (SOGN.PA: ) and Banco Santander (SAN.MC: ) gained 1 to 2.2
percent.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ) gained 4.6 percent, up for a
fifth straight day, and is above the average price the UK
government paid for its stake in the credit crisis.

In other banking news, Raiffeisen International Bank
(RIBH.VI: ) surged 10.7 percent after the emerging Europe lender
released details of its re-merger with parent Raiffeisen
Zentralbank. [ID:nLDE63J0RR]

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: ) index ended the
day 1 percent higher while Germany’s DAX (.GDAXI: ) and France’s
CAC 40 (.FCHI: ) rose 1.7 and 1.4 percent respectively.

Wall Street was higher around the time European bourses were
closing. The Dow Jones (.DJI: ), S&P 500 (.SPX: ) and Nasdaq
Composite (.IXIC: ) were up between 0.2 and 0.6 percent.

TESCO FALLS

On the downside, supermarket giant Tesco (TSCO.L: ) fell 1.5
percent after it met forecasts with a 9 percent rise in
full-year profit, but signaled a slowdown in recent sales growth
in its main British market. [ID:nLDE63H0EG]

Among other individual stocks, SABMiller (SAB.L: ) rose 4.5
percent after the company says organic lager volumes grew 2
percent in the fourth quarter. [ID:nWLB2900]

Rival Carlsberg (CARLb.CO: ) gained 3.7 percent and Heineken
(HEIN.AS: ) rose 2.1 percent ahead of a trading update on
Wednesday.

Finnish lift and escalator maker Kone (KNEBV.HE: ) gained 5.9
percent. The company reported first-quarter earnings ahead of
most market expectations thanks to cost cutting and raised its
full-year outlook. [ID:nLDE63J0O6]

In macroeconomics, German analyst and investor sentiment rose
by more than expected in April, gaining for the first time since
last September. [ID:nDEP003302]

Penny Stocks

(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

European shares rise; autos, oils, banks gain