Euroshares open higher, rally on Wall St, Tele Atlas surges as TomTom hikes bid

LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Europe's leading exchanges extended gains in opening deals this morning after a rally on Wall Street overnight and with the battle over Tele Atlas continuing in full swing.

At 8.14 am, the Dow Jones STOXX 50 added 19.78 points or 0.52 pct to 3,794.19 as the STOXX 600 rose 1.76 points or 0.46 pct to 380.40. Last night, Wall Street closed with gains, boosted by strong earnings results from the likes of Nortel Networks, Macrovision and Protective Life.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the session up 117.54 points or 0.86 pct to 16,660.94, while the broader S&P 500 gained 18.10 points or 1.20 pct to 1,520.27. The Nasdaq added 30 points or 1.07 pct to 2,825.18. Traders noted however that sentiment can easily change later in the day after General Motors said it will post a 39 bln non-cash charge because of negative changes in its cumulative loss over the last three years.

"This is the first time that credit market-related problems have reached a group that is not a member of the financial sector," one trader said. He further pointed out that the record oil price and sinking dollar as further causes for concern today, which may well overshadow later on. The dollar fell to new lows on Tuesday amid expectations of more interest rate cuts in the US and worries about the US economy. The dollar slumped against the euro, as the 13-nation currency rose to a high of 1.4569 usd before pulling back slightly, from 1.4471 usd Monday. An ounce of gold added 12.60 usd to settle at 823.40 usd on the New York Mercantile Exchange as investors sought shelter from the dollar's persistent decline.

Light, sweet crude for December delivery rose 2.72 usd to settle at a record 96.70 usd a barrel on the Nymex Tuesday, rising as high as 97.10 usd, after bombings in Afghanistan and an attack on a Yemeni oil pipeline compounded supply concerns that have driven crude prices higher in recent weeks.

In Europe, Tele Atlas surged 17.66 pct, after TomTom improved its offer for the Dutch group to 30 eur a share, valuing it at 2.9 bln eur. TomTom said it is planning to buy the outstanding 28.3 pct of shares today and added that it expects Tele Atlas to support the bid. The latter declined to comment.

TomTom's renewed offer significantly exceeds the 2.3 bln eur bid made by Garmin last week. pk/ejp/pk/ra COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.

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