European shares up, Italy leads after election results

Reuters - UK Focus

* Italy's FTSE MIB outperforms as Renzi wins EU vote

* Pro-EU forces keep majority after European election

* French CAC lags, Germany's DAX hits record high

* London, New York (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) closed for public holiday

By Atul Prakash

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - European equities rose on Monday,with Italy's FTSE MIB outperforming the regional stockmarket after voters endorsed Prime Minister Matteo Renzi'scentre-left Democratic Party's reforms in European elections.

The FTSE MIB rose 2.7 percent, outpacing othermajor European indexes, boosted by gains in domestically focusedbanks including UBI Banca (Frankfurt: BPD.F - news) and BP Milano.

Germany's DAX hit a record high of 9,876.10 points,before settling back to 9,859.53, a rise of 0.9 percent. Theeuro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.7percent at 1034 GMT.

First (Other OTC: FSTC - news) official results from around the 28-nation bloc showedpro-European centre-left and centre-right parties will keepcontrol of around 70 percent of the 751-seat EU legislature, butthe number of Eurosceptic members will more than double.

"Investors are obviously comfortable with the Europeanelection results which have been much better than manyexpected," Naeem Aslam, chief market strategist at Ava Trade,said.

"Nevertheless, these elections are behind us and the mainfocus will be on June 5th meeting (of the European CentralBank). Investors are desperate to see some help from (ECBPresident) Mario Draghi and hoping that he will turn up withsome sort of quantitative easing policies."

The European Central Bank must be "particularly watchful"for any negative price spiral taking hold in the euro zone, Draghi said on Monday, adding that the bank was not resigned toinflation being too low for too long.

The London and New York markets were closed for a publicholiday.


In France, the anti-immigrant and anti-euro National Frontparty topped the vote, in what French Prime Minister ManuelValls described as a political "earthquake."

France's CAC-40 lagged the overall market, edging up0.3 percent.

Michel Juvet, chief investment officer at Swiss bankBordier, said that while the rise of Eurosceptic parties couldbe unsettling for some, it could also put even more pressure onthe European Central Bank to unveil measures next month tosupport the region's economic recovery.

Expectations of new ECB action in June, including interestrate cuts, have helped prop up European stock markets.

Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss bankReyl, said that while the French EU vote result showed thecountry's political difficulties, it should not affect the stockmarket too much, since many CAC companies make much of theirmoney outside France.

"The EU vote says a lot about the difficulties that Franceis in. But we still have some great stocks and great exportcompanies on the CAC-40," said Savary.

Among individual sharp movers, Bull (Paris: FR0010266601 - news) surged 21.5percent on news Atos (Paris: FR0000051732 - news) is to buy the company in anall-French IT sector deal worth 620 million euros ($845million). The deal will create the top Europe-based cloudcomputing company. Atos shares were up 5 percent.

Of the fallers, Getinge (Other OTC: GNGBF - news) lost 9.2 percent afterthe Swedish medical technology firm postponed a planned updateto investors as a result of discussions with the U.S. Food &Drug Administration (FDA) related to quality issues at itsMedical Systems unit.

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:

Today's European research round-up (Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Francesco Canepa;editing by Keiron Henderson)

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