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Sun, Nov 26, 2006 - Page 10 News List

European markets end lower in third straight session


European stocks lost ground on Friday, ending lower for the third straight session after the US dollar reached its lowest level against the euro since April last year.

The pan-European Dow Jones STOXX 600 lost 0.8 percent to 355.98, with shares of exporters Siemens, Nestle and BASF all down at least 1 percent.

The declines came after the euro broke through US$1.30 for the first time since April last year -- and later broke through US$1.31. The British pound and Swiss franc also rallied against the US dollar.

A weak dollar hurts companies that export to the US.

The German DAX Xetra 30 index dropped 1 percent to 6,411.96, the French CAC 40 index dropped 0.7 percent to 5,389.46 and the UK FTSE-100 index slipped 0.3 percent to 6,122.10.

Shares of Technip jumped 7.6 percent in Paris trading after two French newspapers reported that Eni, or its partly held unit Saipem, may bid for the oil-services group. An Italian government minister denied that a hostile bid was being made for Technip.

Eni shares declined 0.3 percent in Milan, and shares of Saipem edged 0.2 percent lower.

Shares of German utility RWE climbed 3.3 percent and reached a record high on reports of takeover speculation.

Volume more than tripled from Thursday's level.

BBVA and Banco Santander each lost more than 2 percent in Madrid on reports Wal-Mart Stores will enter the Mexican banking arena. The two Spanish banks, along with Citigroup and HSBC Holdings, dominate the Mexican banking market.

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