European markets rise

September 25, 2009

, LONDON, Sept 25 – Europe\’s main stock markets recovered a little on Friday as investors focused on a Group of 20 summit that looks likely to strike a deal on curbing bankers\’ bonuses.

The FTSE 100 index rose 0.61 percent to 5,110.03 points in late morning London deals.

Frankfurt\’s DAX 30 climbed 0.20 percent to 5,617.18 points and in Paris the CAC 40 also gained 0.20 percent to 3,765.78 nearing the half-way mark.

The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of top eurozone shares advanced 0.30 percent to 2,846.65 points.

"Attention has been largely focused on the … G20 meeting," said IG Index market strategist Anthony Grech.

"Specifically, any proposal to tighten banking regulation on a global basis could (have) repercussions through the financial sector."

World leaders will agree that bankers\’ bonuses should be linked to long-term success, not short-term risky behavior, a draft text from the G20 summit said on Friday.

The document speaks of "limiting bonuses to a percentage of total net revenues when it is inconsistent with maintenance of a sound capital base," a G20 source said, quoting from the draft expected to be adopted later Friday.

Europe\’s leading stock markets tumbled by more than one percent on Thursday as investors looked cautiously to the summit in Pittsburgh.

Elsewhere on Friday, investors digested news that Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever had made a binding offer of 1.28 billion euros (1.83 billion dollars) for the personal care operations of US giant Sara Lee Corp.

"Personal Care is a strategic category and a key growth driver for Unilever," chief executive Paul Polman said.

"This transaction builds on our portfolio in Western Europe and also in Asia. The Sara Lee brands enjoy strong consumer recognition, offer significant growth potential and are an excellent fit with Unilever\’s existing business."

The Sara Lee business posted sales of more than 750 million euros in the 12 months to June 2009, with earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation of 128 million euros, according to a Unilever statement.

Following the announcement, Unilever\’s share price dipped 0.12 percent to 1,734 pence in London.

Pharmaceuticals were also in focus as European medicine regulators on Friday recommended that two vaccines to fight a swine flu pandemic be granted a marketing licence across Europe.

The two new vaccines are Pandemrix, produced by British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Focetria, developed by Swiss peer Novartis.

GSK\’s share price was up 0.83 percent to 1,216 pence after the announcement while Novartis was flat at 50 Swiss francs.

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