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Friday, November 19, 1999 Published at 19:37 GMT

Business: The Markets

European market report

London FTSE 100
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Germany's Dax index finished flat after earlier breaking above 6,000 and setting a fresh high this year.

The market was weighed by a sharp fall in Mannesmann which closes at its lowest level of the week.

Gains in Deutsche Telekom fail to counter weakness and a poor performance on Wall Street undermined sentiment further.

The Dax was up 0.1% at 5,955.97 after trading in a range between 5,927.78 and 6,032.67.

Mannesmann closed down almost 7% at 193.10 euros after Vodafone AirTouch launched the world's largest hostile takeover bid for the firm.


The Cac 40 index ended at another record high, the 15th over the past 16 sessions, as France Telecom soared nearly 6% to a new high of 111.90 euros a share and pulled up other blue chips.

The index gained 0.32% to 5263.23 points after erasing earlier losses late in the session. Gainers narrowly led losers 19-17, with three stocks unchanged.

"It's one thing after another, but the market never seems to run out of reasons to climb," one trader said.

The Cac's winning streak started on 28 October and has only been interrupted on Wednesday by a small 0.25% decline.

The blue-chip index seemed to be set for a negative close, but late buying interest was reignited by interest in France Telecom.

"Telefonica made a big impression. People started thinking about how much money this would mean if France Telecom were to float its Internet business," the trader added, commenting on Telefonica's successful floatation of its Internet unit Terra Networks in Spain.

France Telecom is the leading provider of Internet access in France and has been aggressively marketing that sector, prompting three smaller French Internet companies to file an official complaint for unfair competition practices.

Beside France Telecom, most of the action was in the banking sector where Credit Lyonnais gained 2.59% on better-than-expected nine-month results.

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