Sun, Sep 25, 2005 - Page 10 News List

European markets climb after Wall Street rebounds

AFP , LONDON

European stock markets closed higher on Friday as investors welcomed easing concerns over Hurricane Rita's potential impact and after Wall Street bounced off earlier lows.

In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.52 percent at 5,413.6 points, while the Frankfurt DAX 30 added 0.69 percent at 4,882.58 and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.65 percent to 4,477.20.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares climbed 0.58 percent to 3,331.55.

The euro stood at US$1.2076.

On Wall Street, the major indices remained in the red following bleak newsflow from Oracle and Alcoa, but off earlier lows as crude prices fell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 23.4 points at 10,398.6, while the NASDAQ was off 1.94 at 2,108.84.

World oil prices dipped on Friday after Hurricane Rita weakened further and looked set to spare major US refineries in Texas, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, shed US$1.80 to US$64.70 per barrel in early trading.

In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude for November delivery lost US$1.66 to US$62.94 per barrel.

Hurricane Rita, which put considerable pressure on oil prices and insurance issues for most of this week, was downgraded overnight to a category-four storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

In Frankfurt, reinsurance giant Munich Re surged 1.39 percent to 90.0 euros and insurer Allianz gained 1.27 percent at 104.41 euros.

In Paris, shares in the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company jumped 2.9 percent to 28.64 euros.

EADS' Airbus unit said on Thursday it aims for 1.5 billion euros of cost savings by 2010, in order to counter rising competition and the negative impact of the dollar's weakness against the euro.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second-biggest auto manufacturer in Europe after Volkswagen, shot up 2.79 percent to 53.50 euros in Paris after a broker upgrade from Merrill Lynch.

In London, tobacco shares fueled blue-chip gains.

Imperial Tobacco surged 3.23 percent to £159,70, taking the top spot in the FTSE 100 leaderboard, as investors welcomed the group's plans to transfer production of 10 billion cigarettes from Germany to Poland as part of the ongoing restructuring of its manufacturing operations.

Imperial helped lift the sector. BAT added 1.53 percent at £121,70 and Gallaher rose 1.04 percent to £87,40.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Swiss Market Index added 0.74 percent at 6,785.53.

The Amsterdam AEX rose 0.18 percent to 394.33, the Brussels BEL-20 gained 0.34 percent at 3,298.14. The Madrid IBEX-35 advanced 0.90 percent to 10,631.2 and the Milan SP/MIB edged up 0.17 percent to 34,238.0.

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