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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 9, 2006

End of week rally boosts Eurofirst - but not enough


by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 ended the week with a gain of 1.7 percent, to 1,276.32, but over the week it dropped 2.8 percent. Miners, oil companies, and other sectors connected to resources were responsible for much of the declines on the week.

The pharmaceuticals sector was mixed. Irish drugmaker Elan lost almost 17 percent during the week to €12.38 after the US Food and Drug Administration allowed them to return their multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri to the shelves, but only as a treatment of last resort after its sales were stopped earlier due to the deaths of some patients taking the drug. With the reintroduction, Elan said that it would increase the price of the drug. Drug companies with rival MS treatments saw gains, however. Schering added 1 percent to €86.25, while Serono was up 3.8 percent to SFr802. Also gaining during the week was Roche, which was up 1.5 percent to SFr194.20 after it announced encouraging test results on three different cancer drugs.

Telecommunications companies were mixed as well. Telecom Italia gained 0.9 percent to €2.24, Belgacom added 1 percent to €25.90, and Telefonica advanced by 1.4 percent to €13. But France Telecom declined by 2.3 percent to €17.29 after it said it would sell its 54 percent share of directory publisher PagesJaunes, which was up 2.5 percent this week to €22.89.

In oil related sectors, Austrian oil prodcuer OMV dropped 15.6 percent during the week to €39.75. Atlas Copco, the Swedish engineering company that works with oil producers, added 4.4 percent to SKr165.50 on Friday, but still declined by 10 percent over the week.

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