Europe Markets

Ericsson Boosts Euro Shares, Banks Steady


European shares rallied on Friday to end the week in positive territory, led by technology stocks after Ericsson beat forecasts with its earnings, and as the banking sector stabilized.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares ended the day up 1 percent at an unofficial close of 1,329.36 points.

The index is up 0.3 percent this week, making this the second successive weekly gain and putting the FTSEurofirst on course for its best monthly gain since October 2003.

However, patchy economic data and the unresolved credit crunch made analysts skeptical about the chances of this rally being sustainable.

"The economic data in Europe is starting to deteriorate ... yet at the same time, the cyclical area of the market is producing reasonable numbers and guidance," said Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management.

"There is a definite disconntect between the economic data and the credit crisis and the impact that has on share price performance."

Ericsson shares closed 12.8 percent higher, having rallied by as much as 27 percent earlier, while among the banks, UBS, UniCredit and Royal Bank of Scotland were the top three positive weights, rising between 2.4 and 3.6 percent.