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Europe: Shares open higher, led by UniCredit

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[MILAN] European shares were higher in early trading on Friday, helped by gains in Asia overnight and stronger oil prices, with UniCredit leading the gainers on talk of possible asset sales.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had fallen 1.2 per cent in the previous session, was up 0.9 per cent by 0708 GMT.

Miners and oil stocks were the top sectoral gainers, underpinned by stronger commodity prices.

UniCredit rose 3.4 per cent after media reports it could look at asset sales to boost its capital base, which could help ease concerns over a potential cash call.

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A source with knowledge of the matter said UniCredit was assessing the sale of stakes in FinecoBank, Turkey's Yapi Kredi and Poland's Bank Pekao.

But Richemont was 4.5 per cent lower after the Cartier owner predicted no improvement in the trading environment after sales growth slowed further and April sales fell 15 per cent, hit by weak demand for watches in Hong Kong and Europe.


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