15 Aug 2008

European shares up amid choppy trade

6:39 am on 15 August 2008

European shares ended higher on Thursday after a choppy session, amid a recovery in commodity prices.

Oil and gas shares were the top performing sector.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended up 0.5% at 1,185.64 points. The index fell 2.4% on Wednesday but is up 0.5% to date for August.

The FTSEurofirst has gained about 9% since mid-July.

Around Europe: Germany's DAX gained 0.3% and France's CAC gained 0.4%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 closed 48.8 points higher, 0.9%, at 5,497.4 after losing 1.6% on Wednesday.

Down Under markets

The Australian 200 Index closed up 30 points at 4981 on Thursday.

The NZX 50 was down 11 points to 3334.

Fletcher Building was up 2 cents at $6.60 after a 4% fall in annual profit.

Telecom was down 7c to $3.31. Contact Energy was up 2 cents to $8.47.

Auckland International Airport Ltd was down 2c to $2.03 after shelving plans to move to a single duty free operator.

Opus International was up 2c to $1.84 after reporting that half year profit increased by 36% to $9.1 million. New Zealand Oil & Gas was up 5c to $1.47.

In the currency markets: at 6.25am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at US70.31 cents, 80.38 Australian cents, 37.54 pence, 76.86 yen and 0.4704 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 65.11.