EADS gains lift European stock markets

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 09:20 hrs

* FTSEurofirst 300 rises 0.5 pct to 1,129.83 points

* Euro STOXX 50 up 0.6 pct to 2,608.08 points

* Germany's DAX sets new year high

* EADS up after new deal to overhaul shareholding structure

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - European shares climbed higher on Thursday, helped by gains at aerospace company EADS, although some traders said they would still look to sell due to uncertainty over U.S. budget talks.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose by 0.5 percent to 1,129.66 points, having earlier set a fresh 2012 high after reaching an intraday peak of 1,130.06 points.

The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also advanced by 0.6 percent to 2,608.08 points.

EADS was the top performer on the FTSEurofirst 300 index, rising by 7.2 percent after the company's main shareholders clinched a deal to overhaul its ownership structure.

Analysts said the new deal would diminish the influence of EADS' French and German government shareholders, which in turn would be positive for the stock.

"We raise EADS to 'buy' from 'neutral', as the underlying growth story is very compelling, and as we take a favourable view of lower government influence and higher free float," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a research note.


Germany's DAX set a new year-high of 7,526.69 points on Thursday, with the index up by 0.9 percent at 7,519.14 points in early morning.

Central Markets senior broker Joe Neighbour said he would be tempted to sell the Euro STOXX 50 index while it remained below the 2,635 point level, due to uncertainty over U.S. budget talks.

U.S. politicians remain in talks over trying to reach an agreement over the "fiscal cliff" - a combination of government spending cuts and tax rises due to be implemented under existing law in early 2013 that may cut the federal budget deficit but also tip the economy back into recession.

However, Tavira Securities head of trading Toby Campbell Gray was more bullish, saying concerns over the U.S. situation were overdone.

"The equity market is for buying. You don't want to be too 'short' going into the end of the year." (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Additional reporting by David Brett; Editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)

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