Blue chips gain as optimism grows


Optimism over the European summit and a results-led bounce for Volkswagen sent Frankfurt strongly ahead, lifting the Xetra Dax index 99.21 to 4,579.64.

Blue chips moved higher from the outset on the theory that European leaders' plans for economic stimulus would quickly be translated into further interest rate cuts. Strong earnings late in the day from Volkswagen added to the upbeat mood.

Shares in the motor giant jumped DM10.50 - or more than 9 per cent - to DM123.50, following the third-quarter results, and cyclicals provided most of the day's bright spots. BMW rose DM51 to DM1,132, chemicals leader Henkel gained DM6.70 to DM135, while Linde added DM52 to close at DM890.

Paris improved 55.72 to 3,449.48. Motors were a strong feature and Alcatel jumped 5.8 per cent, but broad trading volumes were on the dull side.

Rhone-Poulenc added FFr8.30 at FFr225 ahead of Thursday's third-quarter results. Among motors, Renault gained FFr11.50 - or 5.6 per cent - to FFr218.50 after recent relative weakness. Valeo gained FFr12.60 to FFr442.60.

Usinor, hit lately by worries about cheap steel imports and industry pricing structures, rallied FFr3.10 to FFr63.70.

Amsterdam ended with the AEX index up 2.51 at 965.36 after a day of relatively narrow trading, with sentiment held in check by a profits warning from the high-tech sector.