Paris shares close higher as US factory activity bolsters sentiment

Share prices closed higher after news of a surprise acceleration in factory activity in the US in September and gains on the Nasdaq reassured investors, dealers said.

The CAC-40 closed up 22.52 points or 0.49 pct at 4,622.54, on volume of 3.2 bln eur.

Thirty-three CAC-40 stocks closed up and 7 down.

On the Matif, October CAC-40 futures were trading 26 points firmer at 4627.5, while the euro stood at 1.1912 against the dollar.

Institute for Supply Management said the ISM index rose to 59.4 pct in September from 53.6 pct in August,hitting the highest level since August 2003.

Gains on the tech-rich Nasdaq pushed IT stocks higher, with STMicroelectronics leading the index, up 0.42 or 2.94 pct at 14.73 and Capgemini up 0.86 or 2.66 pct at 33.24.

Advertising shares continued to rise strongly, on the back of speculation of a shakeup in the sector after Havas chairman Vincent Bollore raised his stake in Aegis. Havas was up 0.07 eur or 1.66 pct at 4.29, while rival Publicis added 0.47 or 1.77 pct at 26.95.

Accor was up 0.44 to 42.46 on speculation it is approaching a decision on a new CEO.

Saint-Gobain was up 0.34 at 48.20, after saying it had acceptances from less than 1 pct of BPB PLC shareholders in its hostile bid for the group. Saint-Gobain prolonged the offer through October amid expectations it will raise it.

Second-liner Rhodia soared, 0.13 or 7.65 pct at 1.83 amid speculation that it may be the subject of a takeover bid.

Sanofi-Aventis was up 0.60 or 0.87 pct at 69.35, after the market brushed aside news that US health authorities are investigating if there is a health hazard from its Menactra meningitis vaccine.

Total was one of the few decliners, down 11.30 at 22.80 pct at 225.90, against the backdrop of on-going industrial action at one of its main French refineries

600450 Paris shares close higher as US factory activity bolsters sentiment
Date: 4 October 2005

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