Football distracts attention


German stocks, which climbed to record highs on Tuesday, closed bourse trading flat in thin activity, uninspired by German inflation figures. In post-bourse electronic trading they fell into negative territory. Dealers said the Euro 96 semi-final between England and Germany was the main reason for a listless afternoon's trade.

Paris CAC-40: 2113.28 (-5.15)

The Paris bourse, which began three hours late due to technical problems, ended lower in what, was described as a slight correction after two consecutive days of gains. "This is a very slight technical correction in a day shortened by technical problems and soccer," one trader said. The Euro 96 semi final between France and the Czech Republic also distracted attention.

Milan Mibtel: 10536 (-61)

Italian shares closed lower, dragged down by weaker insurance stocks after hopes of an early interest rate cut were dampened by remarks by Bank of Italy governor Mr Antonio Fazio.