Euro Stocks Closing in on 2003 Peak; Siemens Fared Well
Nov 14, 2003
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Solid profits from European corporate titans Siemens and Deutsche Telekom (BT) sparked fresh equity gains in the region, but lower sales at BT kept down marketplace advancement.

Data show that Germany, Europe's biggest economy, had pulled out of its second recession in 2 years in the third quarter, while the French economy, which narrowly avoided recession in the first half, expanded by 0.4 percent in the third quarter.

On one of the busiest days of the third-quarter reporting season, hopes of better economic times boosted cyclical stocks in particular. Among them, luxury goods giant Richemont rose 4.3 percent despite a sharp drop in interim operating profit as investors cheered comments that the sectoral downturn had come to an end.

Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML was another strong performer after overnight news that Applied Materials, the world's largest maker of microchip production equipment, reported its first quarterly profit of the year and declared a turning point after a three-year industry slump.

But German consumer electronics wholesaler Medion AG dropped 10 percent after cutting its full-year sales target, despite sticking to its goal for annual profit growth of 15 percent to 20 percent as 9-month operating earnings jumped 18.8 percent.

German-based Siemens also fared well, leading blue-chip climbers up 2.2 percent after saying it made a net profit of 724 million Euro in its fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30. This beat analysts' expectations of 617 million Euro.

(Reuters)

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