Utilities top Eurozone leaderboard

E UROPEAN shares edged higher yesterday, adding to a strong rally last week, with utilities rising after Germany extended nuclear power plants’ lifespans, but in low volumes with Wall Street closed. Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline was among shares falling, on concerns about its Avandia drug. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares rose 0.2 per cent to 1,065.80 points, the highest close since 9 August, after rising 3.6 per cent last week.

“The markets might go slightly higher, but it is not a great week for economic data or corporate news,” Jeremy Batstone-Carr, strategist at Charles Stanley, said. Utilities featured among the top movers. German companies E.ON and RWE both rose 1.8 per cent on hopes for billions of euros extra profit from a decision to extend the lifespans of nuclear power plants in Europe.