Automobile manufacturing and banking lead Eurofirst

Automobile manufacturing and banking lead Eurofirst

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 0.6 percent to 1,075.03 on Wednesday. The automobile manufacturing and banking sectors did particularly well on the day.

Among car makers, Fiat was up 5.2 percent to €5.41, while DaimlerChrysler rose 2.7 percent to €31.38, Volkswagen advanced 1.6 percent to €32.93, and Peugeot rose 1.2 percent to €46.31.

Much of this movement came after Tracinda Corp, U.S. investor Kirk Kerkorian’s company, offered to pay cash for as many as 28 million shares of General Motors stock to shore up its operation. Speculation was that European automobile manufacturers might also come into the equation.

Not all was positive in the automobile-related sector, however, as shares in Continental, the German tire maker, fell 6.1 percent to €55.21 on a first quarter earnings report that was below expectations.

Banks also did well on positive first quarter reports. Anglo Irish Bank was up 5.6 percent to €9.48. Europe’s ninth-largest bank, Credit Suisse, was up 2 percent to SFr51.30, while Germany’s second-largest bank, HVB Group, was up 1 percent to €18.65. Bank Austria, Austria’s largest bank, rose 0.6 percent to €72.75.

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