European shares rise from three-week lows as utilities shares rise

European shares rise from three-week lows as utilities shares rise
© Reuters. Screens displaying data for the DAX in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday. Reuters photo.

(Reuters) – European shares rose on Thursday as investors tended to buy into defensive sectors such as utilities amid fears of a spike in coronavirus cases across the continent.

The European index rose 0.4 percent, rising from a three-week low hit on Wednesday. Among the biggest gainers were the utilities and healthcare sectors, which are considered among the safest sectors in times of economic uncertainty.

And utilities, which have led the way, have also received a boost from Germany’s push to step up its efforts in climate protection, including a faster pace of expansion of renewables and phase out coal.

Technology stocks rose 0.6 percent in their first session of gains in six days, after rising bond yields weighed on the high-growth sector earlier this week.

Shares of Remy Cointreau jumped 13.4 percent to a record high after it raised its full-year profit forecast after strong demand for its products led to stronger-than-expected operating profit in the first half.

Its rival Pernod Ricard rose 2.5 percent, while London-listed Diageo (LON:) rose 1.0 percent.

Radiation therapy equipment maker Electa rose 5.7 percent after it reported a smaller-than-expected drop in profit in August-October amid a growing need for cancer care and radiotherapy.

Swiss Life shares rose 3.6 percent after it said it would launch a new buy-back process of one billion Swiss francs (1.07 billion) and raise the dividend payout.

Norway’s Adventa, the world’s largest classifieds company, fell 7.2% after posting a smaller-than-expected increase in third-quarter revenue.

(Prepared by Ahmed El-Sayed for the Arab Bulletin – Edited by Ali Khafagy)

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