Europe Markets

Tech Stocks Help Euro Market Close Higher


European shares notched up their highest close since mid-January on Wednesday, cheered by a broad pick up in risk appetite, a weakening euro and stronger than expected results at construction and technology groups

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended unofficially 0.8 percent higher at 1,362.59 points.

The technology sector was the best performer in Europe after Cisco Systems, the largest U.S. maker of routers and switches that direct Web traffic reported better-than-expected quarterly results late on Tuesday.

Nokia, Ericsson and ASML gained around 4 percent.

Constructions stocks, meanwhile, were lifted by strong profits at French cement maker Lafarge.

Sentiment on the health of the world economy was supported by a bigger-than-expected rise in first-quarter U.S. non-farm productivity.

Inflation-wary equities also took heart from news that unit labor costs in the sector rose less than anticipated.

"The economic newsflow in America has been a bit better than expected and that's been encouraging (for equities)," said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin.

"The earnings newsflow has not been as poor as had been expected, which has also been a bit of a support."

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