Sun, Oct 22, 2006 - Page 10 News List

FTSE 100 slips back after solid run

AFP , LONDON

European stock exchanges were generally stronger on Friday, although the London FTSE 100 index slipped at the close after at one point hitting its highest level in five-and-a-half years.

The FTSE fell 0.01 percent to 6,155.20 points after soaring to 6,199.80 during the day. In Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.29 percent to finish at 5.375.35 while in Frankfurt the DAX added 0.41 percent to finish at 6,202.82.

The Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares added 0.29 percent to reach 3,998.19.

On the currency market the dollar was under pressure against the euro on Friday in response to weak US manufacturing data.

US stocks were lower in midday trading as investors consolidated portfolios following a record-breaking streak that saw the leading Dow Jones index burst the 12,000-point barrier.

Plummeting oil prices and healthy corporate earnings helped propel the leading blue-chip index to new heights, but investors appeared to be taking stock Friday as shares languished.

"Earnings reports remain very good, and the market yawns as OPEC announces plans for a production cut. Those are the major story lines for today," said Dick Green, a senior analyst at Briefing.com.

In London steelmaker Corus fell 1.04 percent to ?4.7350 after having agreed to be acquired at ?4.55 a share by Tata Steel of India.

On the Paris exchange oil giant Total gained 0.94 percent to close at 53.70 euros following an OPEC decision to cut production in a bid to shore up sagging crude prices.

European aerospace group EADS, trying to overcome acute production difficulties at its aircraft unit Airbus, lost 0.14 percent to end the week at 21.12 euros after revealing that it may have to seek financing on equity markets next year.

Elsewhere there were gains of 0.70 percent to a record 13,558 on the IBEX-35 in Madrid, 0.33 percent to 4,173.30 on the BEL 20 in Brussels, 0.08 percent to 39,469 on the SP/MIB in Milan and 0.26 percent to 8,643.02 on the Swiss Market Index.

In Amsterdam the AEX fell 0.22 percent to 489.40.

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