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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
August 17, 2006

Cars, semiconductors higher in Europe


by Elaine Frei

Bids news were in focus in Europe on Thursday, taking the FTSE Eurofirst 300 up by just 0.1 percent to 1,360.8. Technology stocks were higher once again, while oil saw declines as crude oil prices slipped further.

In the semiconductor sector, STMicroelectronics added 2.6 percent to €12.79 and ASML gained 3 percent to €16.68, while in the telecommunications equipment sector Ericsson was 2.2 percent higher to SKr23.50.

Among oil companies and related service providers, Total fell 0.8 percent to €53.20, while Saipem dropped 1.8 percent to €17.39. Neste Oil declined by 2.5 percent to €24.97, while Statoil was 2.6 percent lower to NKr170.

In the automobile manufacturing sector, Volvo was 5 percent higher to SKr401.50 amid rumors that a group of investors would enter a bid or force the carmaker to return cash to its shareholders. Both Renault, which owns 20 percent of Volvo, and German company Man denied involvement in the rumored moves and both added 2.7 percent on the session to €90.75 and €60.10 respectively.

Wienerberger bid 216p per share for UK rival Baggeridge Brick, sending the Austrian brick maker’s shares 0.8 percent higher to €37.40. Irish brick maker CRH, meanwhile gained 0.7 percent to €25.59.

In the insurance sector, Zurich Financial dropped 1.9 percent to SFr282.50 even though a new report showed that its net profits were up by 9 percent in the first half of the year. The decline came on the news that written premiums were down more than had been expected.

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