Even amid massive central bank stimulus in Europe, which tends to lift stock markets, investors still need to be picky when investing in the region. ‘The FTSE250 mid-cap index keeps hitting record highs,’ said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at London-based CMC Markets. ‘I would be looking for opportunities in France and Italy, simply because we are nowhere near the highs we saw in 2007.’ Opportunity also exists in the United Kingdom. ‘The UK 250 has outperformed the FTSE 100 pretty much consistently over the past 3-4 years and it’s still flirting with record highs,’ he said. ‘The likelihood is that it will continue to push higher.’ Within the U.K., Hewson is bullish on the telecom and utilities sectors. ‘Companies that have been in focus this week are Vodafone (VOD) in the telecom space,’ he said. ‘Utilities have also found that their values are artificially depressed, via companies like Centrica (CNA) and United Utilities (UU).’ He said these types of companies offer decent dividend yields and have seen their share prices inhibited over the last two years. ‘With a new conservative government [in the UK], we could see a significant rebound in the utilities sectors.’ The Street's Scott Gamm speaks with Hewson.
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