European Equity Prices Rise

Investors watched falling energy prices and speculated about Hurricane Rita's threat to the global economy

MARKETSCOPE : European equity prices rose on Friday, as investors watched falling energy prices and speculated about Hurricane Rita's threat to the global economy.

London's Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index, which rose 16 points yesterday, was up 17 points to 5403 level. 68 FTSE stocks were up and 32 were down on turnover of 495,429,253 shares. Enterprise Inns shares were higher after the company said operating profit per pub rose more than 8% in the fiscal second half. 3i was up after UBS raised its recommendation on the shares to "buy" from "neutral". Alea Group Holdings fell. The company scrapped plans to raise funds through a share sale after A.M. Best cut its financial strength and credit ratings. De La Rue was up on higher first half earnings and favorable full year prospects. Morgan Crucible rose after WestLB Equity Markets raised its share-price forecast to 155 pence from 138 pence. Vernalis was up after ING Wholesale Banking raised the shares to "buy" from "hold."

Frankfurt's DAX Index, which fell 26 points yesterday, was up 16 points to the 4865 level. Investors shrugged off a report that import price inflation in Germany held steady at its fastest pace in more than four years in August. Some regional Consumer Price Index reports were higher than expected. Traders saw some short covering taking place. 24 DAX stocks were up and 6 were down on turnover of 40,692,732 shares. The Deutsche Boerse was up as the company rejected a proposal to break off its clearing and settlement unit. Deutsche Postbank, which is considering a takeover bid for BHW Holding, was lower after Citigroup lowered the bank's shares to "sell" from "hold". MorphoSys was up after the company entered a cross-licensing accord with Eli Lilly on the use of protein technologies. Rheinmetall was up after Citigroup initiated coverage of the stock with a "buy" recommendation.

Paris' CAC 40, which fell 20 points yesterday, was up 12 points to 4460 level amid short covering. 32 CAC stocks were up and 8 were down on turnover of 37,636,868 shares. EADS was higher after UBS raised its rating on the stock. Peugeot was higher after Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral."

South Korea's KOSPI dropped 24.09 points (2.00%) to 1175.88, however, amid profit-taking. The KOSPI hit its record high on Thursday.

Japanese markets were closed for Autumnal Equinox Day

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