Miners and UBS propel European shares higher

By Brian Gorman

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – European shares rose in early trade on Tuesday, tracking gains in the United States and Japan, and with miners gaining on strong metals prices, while UBS

jumped on a report about the performance of the Swiss bank’s fixed-income business.

At 0840 GMT the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,082.39 points, and had reached 1,086.03, the highest since early October 2008.

The European benchmark is up more than 67 percent from its lifetime low of March 9, 2009.

“There’s been no bad news out from banks and metals prices are strong,” said Colin McLean, managing director at fund manager SVM in Edinburgh.

“But there may be an element of window dressing to it (the market’s rise) at the end of the quarter. Some institutions may have found themselves with more cash than they planned.”

Miners rose, as a weaker dollar helped to keep the price of copper near Monday’s 19-month high, and gold edged up.

Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata rose between 0.9 and 2.1 percent.

UBS rose 4.4 percent. It has raked in about $2.3 billion in revenue at its rebuilt fixed income division in the first quarter, Bloomberg said, citing people with knowledge of the situation.

Other banks to rise included Barclays, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, up between 0.8 and 1.4 percent.

However, Allied Irish Banks fell 12.8 percent, taking its decline over three days to more than 30 percent, ahead of announcements expected later on Tuesday on the size of discounts to be placed on the Irish banks’ loans to be taken over by the Irish government’s new “bad bank” and the extent of recapitalization and nationalization needed.

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC40 were up between 0.1 and 0.2 percent.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) hit an 18-month closing high on Monday as miners and energy companies advanced on dollar weakness and investors bought recent high fliers as the quarter’s end approached.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent to an 18-month closing high on Tuesday.

Some defensive plays, such as pharmaceuticals, slipped. GlaxoSmithKline slid 1 percent, falling for a third day. Shire

and AstraZeneca fell 1.6 and 0.9 percent respectively.

AMEC RISES

AMEC rose 2.7 percent after the oil services and engineering group bought Entec Holdings for 61.2 million pounds, prompting an upgrade from Seymour Pierce to “outperform” from “hold.”

Britain’s economy came out of an 18-month recession in the fourth quarter of last year with more momentum than expected, official data showed.

The Office for National Statistics said the economy grew 0.4 percent in the last three months of 2009, the first quarter of growth since the first quarter of 2008 and above analysts expectations for an unrevised reading of +0.3 percent.

Later in the session, investors are due to get more data on house prices and consumer confidence in the United States.

Stock Market Analysis

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Miners and UBS propel European shares higher