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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
May 19, 2006

Eurofirst up slightly Friday, down on week


by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 saw a slight gain on Friday, adding 0.1 percent to 1,306.56. The gain did not help the week’s results however, which saw the 300 drop by 4.1 percent.

Much of the week’s losses could be blamed on the oil sector, where losses were substantial. Norwegian companies were hard hit, but other companies in the sector were down as well. Norsk Hydro was down 13.8 percent over the week to NKr162, hurt not only by the drop in crude oil prices but also by declines in aluminium, in which it also has interests. Statoil dropped 11.1 percent to NKr169.

Some oil and oil-related companies elsewhere in Europe saw even steeper declines. OMV, based in Austria, lost 15.3 percent to €42.41. Neste Oil declined by 13.9 percent to €23.72. Saipem, the Italian Oil services group, was down 12.3 percent to €17.36.

Stock exchanges were lower as well. Even through Euronext added 5.4 percent on the day Friday, it lost 0.4 percent on the week to close at €74.60. Deutsche Borse was also up on the day but down for the week, as it gained 3.2 percent Friday but lost 10 percent during the week to close at €110.74.

In the steel sector, Arcelor gained 8.9 percent on Friday, overcoming earlier losses to add 0.5 percent for the week, to close at €34.84 after Mittal Steel offered a revised bid that was one-third higher than its earlier offer. Mittal was down 17 percent this week to €25.41.

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