6 Jan 2009

European shares up

10:46 am on 6 January 2009

European shares closed higher for the fifth session in a row on Monday.

Markets shrugged off concerns about war in the Middle East as the prospect of tax cuts in Germany and a survey of euro zone investor sentiment was slightly better than expected.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares rose 1.9% to 873.01 points. The index is now up 16% since last November.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,983.99 points, up 10.92 or 0.22%. In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,359.92 points, up 10.23 or 0.31%.

The Swiss market index closed at 5,756.09 points, up 221.56 or 4%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to end 17.85 points higher at 4,579.64 - its highest close in two months.

However, stocks were down in the United States as investors cashed in profits from a powerful rally last week. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 81.80 points, or 0.91%, at 8,952.89.

Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.34 points, or 0.47%, at 927.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 4.18 points, or 0.26%, at 1,628.03.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled about 1.3 million shares. About 1.79 billion shares were traded on the Nasdaq.