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Sunday 12th of October 2008
December 19, 2006

European oil sector sees declines


by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.6 percent lower on Tuesday to 1,477.94 as the oil and steel sectors declined on lower prices for commodities.

In the steel sector, ThyssenKrupp dropped 1 percent to €33.27 even though UBS hiked its target share price when the broker left its recommendation at “neutral”. Salzgitter was also lower, falling 3.8 percent to €96.59 after Credit Suisse reduced its recommendation from “outperform” to “neutral”.

Oil companies were also on the losing end for the session. After a gain of 20 percent on Monday, Norsk Hydro dropped 0.7 percent to NKr187.25. The decline came after Dresdner Kleinwort said that the Monday gains, coming after the announcement of a merger between Norsk Hydro and Statoil, were out of proportion. The broker cut its recommendation on Norsk Hydro to “sell”. Statoil was down 3.1 percent on the session, to NKr164.75, even though JP Morgan said that the merger makes sense for the oil company.

Elsewhere in the oil sector, declines came after Monday’s drop in crude oil prices. Total was 0.9 percent lower to €54.50 as OMV dropped 1.2 percent to €43.33.

In the telecommunications sector, Swisscom added 1.1 percent to SFr457.25 after it said that it will buy back a 25 percent share of Swisscom Mobile from UK company Vodafone. The news spurred Citigroup to hike Swisscom’s target share price from SFr430 to SFr452.50. Meanwhile, hopes of continued privatization sent Hellenic Telecom 1.9 percent higher to €23.72.

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