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Eurofirst falls on high oil prices

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by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped 0.4 percent on Thursday as crude oil prices rose again and the US stock markets were down.

Despite rising oil prices, the oil sector was mixed on the day. Statoil dropped 3.9 percent to NKr196 on the news that it had gone ex-dividend, so that new stock purchasers will not be eligible to receive a dividend this year. Spanish oil company Repsol was down 1.5 percent to €22.25 after it reported that net profits in the first quarter were up 7.5 percent, less than had been expected. The results were explained by falling refining margins that offset high prices. The rising price of crude oil sent shares in Neste Oil up 4.2 percent to €28.17, while Total gained 0.8 percent to €223.80.

In the telecommunications sector, Deutsche Telekom dropped 2.6 percent to €13.24 after lower than expected core earnings in the first quarter due to weakness in its mobile phone business in the UK.

Banks were mixed on the day. Raiffeisen International was up 5.2 percent to €78.10 on better than expected quarterly results. ING Group also had a better quarterly report than had been expected, with net profit up 3.3 percent, but after early gains its shares ended the day down by 0.2 percent to €33.09. Greek banks were down as well. Both Eurobank and Piraeus Bank reported net interest income that was lower than had been anticipated. As a result, Eurobank lost 4.8 percent on the day to €29.88 and Piraeus dropped 2.3 percent to €26.06.

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News posted: May 11, 2006

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