European Stocks Inched up on Monday in Holiday-Thinned Trade

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Economic Times European Stock Market

European stocks inched up on Monday in holiday-thinned trade, with gains limited as German utilities dropped on a government decision to shut all the country’s nuclear reactors by 2022.

Volumes were thin as both U.S. and UK markets were closed for a public holiday.

At 0900 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 percent at 1,135.55 points, adding to the previous session’s gains.

German utilities took a beating, with RWE down 2.3 percent and E.ON down 1.6 percent, while French nuclear group Areva dropped 4.6 percent.

The sector sharply dropped last March when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and sparked a nuclear crisis.

RWE has lost 17 percent since March 11, and E.ON is down 15 percent.

“We expect that the companies will have to adjust their guidances, including the dividend, for full-year 2011 and probably the years thereafter, because so far both companies assumed that the stopped nuclear power plants will be back online after the moratorium,” DZ Bank analyst Marc Nettelbeck said.

Despite the mixed technical picture for European stocks, Societe Generale’s cross asset research team suggests, as a trading idea, to go long on the Euro STOXX 50 index and short on LME aluminium.

“Hard commodities could suffer further if growth disappoints in Europe…Much of the bad news is already priced in for the European equity markets, and Euro STOXX dividend yield of 4.3 percent is supportive,” they wrote in a note.

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