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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 8, 2006

Eurofirst closes down 2.4 percent


by Elaine Frei

The European equities markets saw steep declines on Thursday on sell-offs. They were not alone, as Asian markets and the markets in London also fell substantially. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 dropped by 2.4 percent on the day, to close at 1,257.6. It was the fifth session in the past month in which the Eurofirst declined by more than 2 percent in a day. Elsewhere, the Xetra Dax and the CAC 40 each lost 2.9 percent by the close of the trading day.

Utilities were mixed, with Suez up 0.2 percent to €30.20 but down from where it had been earlier in the session. Gaz de France was 0.9 percent lower, however, to close at €26.19, while Enel dropped 0.5 percent to €7.09.

The oil sector saw significant declines as crude oil prices dropped below the $70 per barrel level. OMV lost 8.1 percent to SKr174, while Norsk Hydro declined by 7.9 percent to NKr152.50 and Neste Oil was down 6.8 percent to €23.73.

Automobile manufacturers were also down on the day. BMW lost early gains on the news that sales had risen by 5.5 percent in May to close 0.7 percent lower to €37.50. Elsewhere in the sector, Volkswagen dropped 0.9 percent to €51.43, Renault was down 1.5 percent to €84.20, and DaimlerChrysler fell 2.3 percent on the day.

Airlines were mixed. Air France dropped 2.4 percent to €15.96, while Lufthansa was down 0.7 percent to €13.60. On the other hand, Ryanair added 3.5 percent to €6.87 on its full-year report and on the drop in crude oil prices.

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