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UniCredit – European shares led higher by commodity stocks

UniCredit

Aided by gains in Asia overnight and stronger oil prices, European shares rose on Friday. UniCredit led the gainers amid possibilities of asset sales.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 1.2 per cent by 0749 GMT after falling on Thursday amid concern the Federal Reserve will raise U.S. interest rates as early as next month.

UniCredit rose 3.9 per cent after on reports that it may sell some holdings to improve its capital base. A source with knowledge of the matter said UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank by assets, was assessing the sale of stakes in FinecoBank, Turkey’s Yapi Kredi and Poland’s Bank Pekao.

ICBPI analyst Luca Comi said in a note, “The sale of further stakes in quality units could have an immediate positive effect on capital but would weigh on profitability over the medium and longer terms”.

Mining shares rose 1.9 per cent to lead gains among sectors, after copper prices got some support from signs China’s housing market was improving. Anglo American and Glencore led the advance with gains of 3.7 and 2.7 per cent respectively.

Oil stocks gained 1.6 per cent. Crude oil prices rose as turmoil in Nigeria, shale bankruptcies in the United States and a crisis in Venezuela all contributed to tightening supplies.

Coca Cola rose 4.4 per cent after an upgrade to “buy” from Citigroup

But Richemont fell 0.3 per cent after the Cartier owner predicted no improvement in the trading environment. Its April sales dropped 15 per cent, hit by weak demand for watches in Hong Kong and Europe. Shares of watchmaker Swatch fell around 1 per cent.

Fiat Chrysler lost 2.4 per cent, after criticism of the Italian-American carmaker by the German transport minister for failing to show up at a meeting on Thursday to discuss emissions irregularities of its diesel vehicles.

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Paul

The author Paul