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Eurofirst up on week

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by Elaine Frei

In Europe this week the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.5 percent to close on Friday at 1,398.71. Much of these advances were due to gains in companies that support mining and the oil industry. Banks were mixed, but saw some gains.

The banking sector produced some positive earnings reports over the week, but those were not enough in all cases for shares in the banks to advance. Credit Suisse, for example, lost 0.3 percent during the week to SFr77.65 even though it reported quarterly earnings higher than had been expected. UBS also reported results that were above what had been predicted, gaining 1.4 percent on the week to SFr149. Deutsche Bank was up 1.5 percent this week to €98.80 despite a decline Wednesday when investors questioned whether the growth shown in its quarterly report could be sustained over the long term.

In companies related to the oil industry, Italian oilfield services company Saipem added 4.3 percent this week to €20.68. Dutch oilfield services company SBM Offshore, meanwhile, was up 4.5 percent to €88.90 on new contracts worth $750 million.

Among companies that support the mining sector, tool and machinery maker Sandvik gained 8.4 percent during the week to SKr217.50. Sandvik reported quarterly results above predictions on Tuesday, which spurred positive comments from JP Morgan and from Handelsbanken, which raised its target share price on the company from SKr490 to SKr535. Sandvik’s rival, Atlas Copco, also reported good quarterly figures and added 8.2 percent over the week to SKr217.50.

In the telecommunications sector, Norwegian company Telnor was up 12.2 percent on the week to NKr80.25 on a 55 percent gain in core earnings and upgrades from several banks.

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News posted: May 5, 2006

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