Banks shine as Mibtel aims higher


German shares were trapped in a very tight range waiting for the dollar or the Dow Jones to move sharply up or down. A lack of fresh news hobbled the index and, with the dollar threatening to weaken against the D-mark and Wall Street uninspiring, it failed to recover the morning's better levels.

Paris CAC-40: 3235.76 (+14.82)

It was a similar story on the Paris bourse where stocks were flat after earlier brushing a new record. Brokers said the market was extremely calm, driven by a technical rebound in France Telecom and with "not enough bad news to start taking profits", in the words of one.

Milan Mibtel: 19777 (+256)

Italian shares closed near their all-time highs, lifted by the early gains on Wall Street and by continued domestic flows out of bonds and into stocks.

Bank shares continued to be the focus amid a flurry of merger talk with Mediobanca shares up 6.8 per cent.