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Eurofirst gains 2.3 percent


by Elaine Frei
June 15, 2006

European equities markets saw gains on Thursday as many of the stocks that have seen the biggest losses have turned around to see substantial gains. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 2.3 percent on the day to 1,268.44.

Automobile manufacturers were up on the day after new data on car registrations in Europe was released. BMW added 3.3 percent to €37.75, while Fiat was up 4.9 percent to €10.234 and Volkswagen gained 5.1 percent to €53.36.

Higher prices on crude oil and metals helped companies that deal in those commodities to gains. Norsk Hydro, with activities in both oil and aluminium, was up 9.3 percent to NKr164. Statoil advanced by 6.2 percent to NKr164.

Banks were up as well. National Bank of Greece added 9.5 percent to €29.02; it had dropped almost 10 percent since the first of June. Meanwhile, Commerzbank gained 4.4 percent to €26.92 as Deutsche Bank upgraded it to “buy” and said that its significant loss in share price recently was more than could be justified.

Utilities were mixed. Gaz de France and Suez, which have been planning a merger, each added 1 percent, to €26.17 and €29.97 respectively. Deutsche Bank commented that political support for the deal has receded in France and consequently it would likely not happen. Italian utility Enel, which has bid for Suez, declined by 0.1 percent to €6.993.



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