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European bourses end higher
September 13, 2001: 11:51 a.m. ET

Insurance stocks rise as airlines decline; U.S. markets stay shut
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LONDON (CNN) - European markets closed largely higher on Thursday after uneasy trading as investors grappled for direction with the U.S. markets closed for a third session.

Investors looking for safe havens stepped back into insurance as the company's outlined their liabilities to Tuesday's terrorist attack on New York, the world's financial capital.

 Market Movers
graphic FTSE 100 / FTSE 250
graphic DAX 30 / DAX 100
graphic CAC 40 / SBF 80
London's FTSE 100 closed 0.9 percent higher at 4,924.7 while the CAC 40 blue chip index in Paris ended 0.3 percent lower at 4,101.96. Frankfurt's Xetra Dax climbed 0.6 percent to 4,362.41.

Insurance companies, which had been rattled by the attacks in the U.S. that could cost them as much as $20 billion, fared a little better as they declared their liabilities.

Allianz (FALV), Germany's biggest insurance company, rose 1.9 percent. The company estimated its liabilities would be up to graphic700 million euros ($635 million).

Munich Re (FMUV3), the world's largest reinsurer, climbed 5.2 percent. Investment bank Morgan Stanley raised its rating on Munich Re to "outperform" from "neutral" and reiterated a "strong buy" rating on rival Swiss Re, both moves following the U.S. air attacks. Swiss Re soared 10.6 percent in Zurich.

"Sad as it is to say, their business opportunities just expanded, despite significant hits to earnings this year," Morgan Stanley was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Airlines suffered after the global airlines body, IATA, warned of record losses in 2001, following the terror attacks in the U.S.

Britain's British Airways (BAY), Europe's biggest airline, lost 5.7 percent in London, while Germany's national airline Lufthansa (FLHA) was off 1.4 percent in Frankfurt.

BAE Systems (BA-) topped gainers in London, leaping 11.9 percent after it said profit rose four percent in the first half as the fifth-biggest defence contractor to the Pentagon cut cost and integrated acquisitions.

Europe's biggest defence company said it expects growth will resume in 2002 as it starts production Eurofighter combat jets.

In Paris, defence company Thales (PHO) was the best performer, rising 7.3 percent.

Away form the U.S. disaster, French broadcaster TF1 (PTFI) topped the losers, plunging 17.1 percent after forecasting an eight to 10 percent drop in net earnings for the full year 2001.

Other sectors affected by the attacks suffered. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (PMC), the world's leading luxury goods company, fell 6.7 percent.

The Paris-based company posted a 15-percent drop in profit and cut its full-year operating target, saying: "In view of the situation created by the tragedy that has just struck the USA, the group is adjusting its forecast for operating profit growth in 2001 to a range of between five and 10 percent."

The AEX index in Amsterdam rose 1.5 percent and the SMI in Zurich gained more than 1 percent, while Milan's MIB30 index edged up 1.3 percent.

The pan-European FTSE Eurotop 300, a broader index of the region's largest stocks, rose 0.6 percent, with the aerospace and defence and insurance stocks leading gains.

 Market Movers
graphic TechMark 100
graphic Nemax 50
graphic Nouveau Marché
The two major U.S. stock markets, the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, were closed Thursday, the third consecutive day since the terrorist attacks on U.S. targets.

The New York Stock Exchange said it will resume trade no later than Monday and possibly as early as Friday.

This week's shutdown marks the first time the New York Stock Exchange has closed for three consecutive working days since the World War I era.

However, bonds were set to resume trading Thursday. Many shaken investors could seek shelter in the government debt markets until all the markets open and they have a better idea of the attack's impact on stocks. graphic