REFILE-Techs prop up European shares; advance seen limited

(Corrects Reuters Instrument Code for Brent crude in 4th
paragraph from end)

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.2 pct

* Nokia, Alcatal-Lucent up on Goldman upgrades

* Carmakers fall on Porsche capital-raising

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

By Brian Gorman

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) – European shares edged higher on
Monday, propped up by technology stocks after an upgrade, though
the small addition to last week’s rise was expected to be curbed
by technical factors.

At 0845 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,127.37 points, after
rising 3.3 percent last week, the biggest weekly gain since
September.

Telecom equipment firms Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Alcatel-Lucent
(ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 2.4 and 4 percent respectively after Goldman
Sachs upgraded its investment rating on both shares to “buy”
from “neutral”.

Technical analysts said that further upside for the
FTSEurofirst 300 could be limited. At around the 1,145 level,
the index (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research) faces three potential resistance areas: the
61.8 percent point in the retracement of its fall from a March
low, a test of the 50-day moving average and the long-term
uptrend.

“Where you have triple convergence of potential resistance
points in one slot, it does raise questions, and I don’t think
the index will breach it in the short term,” said Bill McNamara,
technical analyst at Charles Stanley. “

Investors remained worried about the overall picture in the
Middle East as hostilities in Libya continued and Syria’s
President Bashar al-Assad deployed the army in Syria’s main port
of Latakia. [ID:nLDE72Q0C3] Japan’s nuclear crisis also remains
a key factor affecting risk appetite.
“We had a nice bounce last week. Markets have been resilient
in the face of some hideous news,” said Justin Urquhart Stewart,
director at Seven Investment Management. “All it would take is
fear of another area of concern in the Middle East to knock the
market back down. And Portugal’s crisis hasn’t gone away.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives lost power in a
regional stronghold on Sunday, with early poll results showing
the Greens, buoyed by Japan’s nuclear crisis, surging to their
first state premiership.
“It raises concern how strong she’s going to be over the
next few years,” said Urquhart Stewart.

Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE: Quote, Profile, Research), Germany’s DAX
(.GDAXI: Quote, Profile, Research) and France’s CAC40 (.FCHI: Quote, Profile, Research) rose between 0.3 and 0.4
percent. Portugal’s benchmark PSI (.PSI20: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.5 percent.

AUTOS FALL

Debt-laden German carmaker Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 3.2
percent after approving an almost 5 billion euro ($7 billion)
capital increase, clearing the way for a merger with Volkswagen
(VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research).

Others in the sector to fall included Daimler (DAIGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research),
and Renault (RENA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), down 1.2 and 0.7 percent respectively
down 0.7 percent.

The auto sector is also seen as being hit by the Middle East
tension boosting oil prices, with Brent crude (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) at around
$115, only slightly below last week’s highs.

Further, Deutsche Securities slashed its forecast for Toyota
Motor Corp’s (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research) operating profit by 84 percent for the
next business year, underscoring the severity of the impact of a
historic earthquake that has ground Japanese auto production to
a virtual halt.

AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.2 percent after the British and
U.S. tax authorities have reached an agreement over the
drugmaker’s tax affairs that will boost its earnings per share
in 2011. [ID:nLDE72R06F]

Data due late this week includes the U.S. non-farm payrolls.
(Editing by Sophie Walker and Jon Loades-Carter)

REFILE-Techs prop up European shares; advance seen limited