Markets & Stocks
Bourses buoyed by oil, banks
March 11, 1999: 1:03 p.m. ET

German finance minister quits after markets close; FTSE 100 at new high
graphic graphic
LONDON (CNNfn) - Europe's bourses ended Thursday in buoyant mood, lifted by the merger activity in the financial sector and strong buying of oil stocks on the back of a clandestine meeting of the world's leading oil producers to discuss production cuts. London's FTSE 100 hit a new high.
     The surprise resignation of Germany's finance minister Oskar Lafontaine failed to register on the markets as the announcement was timed after bourses had closed. The euro strengthened against the dollar in New York immediately after the news broke.
     London and Swiss stocks led the way in Europe, as the Dow in New York surged again in early trading and approached the 10,000 mark. The FTSE 100 touched a number of new highs throughout the session, closing at a new record of 6,335.7, a rise of 1.51 percent. In Zurich, the SMI index pushed 1.57 percent higher to finish at 7,322.6.
     In Frankfurt, the electronically-traded Xetra Dax, rose 55 points to close at 4,785.37, a rise of just under 1.2 percent. Gains in Paris were more staid, with the CAC 40 finishing just over half a percent higher at 4,184.38.
     The biggest movers of the day across the continent were oil and financial stocks. Reports of a clandestine meeting of the world oil cartel, OPEC, and Mexico to discuss coordinated production cuts helped push the big oil producers higher.
     In London, BP Amoco's (BPA) shares leapt 9.25 percent to close at 1,016-1/2 pence. Shell (SHEL) gained 8.33 percent to end at 387. In Paris, Elf-Aquitaine (PAQ) put on 6.26 percent to 118.9 euros, while buyers added 7 euros to rival Total's (PFP) shares which ended the session at 111.
     Banking shares remained in the limelight as investors started to search out other possible suitors for Paribas and Société Générale, after BNP's audacious $37 billion bid looked set to get knocked down by French authorities. Shares in the two bid targets surged Thursday after all three banks were suspended in the previous session.
     Paribas (PPM) shares rose over 18 percent to 101.5 euros. Société Générale (PGLE) stock was 13 percent higher at 164.9. BNP's (PBNP) shares were also up strongly, putting on 5.60 euros to close at 83.

U.K. and German financial stocks also put on strong performances. Sentiment in London was lifted by the U.K.'s largest insurer, Prudential, bidding $3.1 billion for fund manager M&G.
     Prudential (PRU) shares fell 1.54 percent Thursday to close at 800 pence, but M&G (MG.) stock absorbed most of the 40 percent bid premium to close 670 pence higher at 2,457.
     The bid helped lift the two other fund management-related stocks among the blue chips. Investment bank Schroders (SDR) zoomed 12.3 percent higher to 1,413 pence. Amvescap (AVZ) put on 4.2 percent to end the session at 647.8 pence.
     Barclays (BARC) moved over 4 percent higher to 1,888, while Lloyds TSB (LLOY) was up 3.62 percent to 975.
     In Germany, HypoVereinsbank was up 8.5 percent to 58.60, despite reports of a management rift at the country's second- largest bank. Dresdner Bank [FRA:FDRB] was up 4.7 percent at 34.65. Back to top


Dow soars, 10,000 nears - Mar. 11, 1999

Optimism boosts Tokyo - Mar. 11, 1999


World Markets

London Stock Exchange

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Paris Stock Exchange

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNNmoney