Around the World's Markets: Frankfurt

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GERMANY'S benchmark Xetra Dax index held on to early gains, closing more than 2 per cent higher at 5076.85. Bank stocks were among the major gainers, as jitters over the Brazilian financial crisis eased.

Shares in Commerzbank rose more than 8 per cent, while Dresdner Bank shares closed 7.4 per cent higher at 38.65 euros.

Telecom shares also surged following confirmation of the pounds 37bn takeover of AirTouch by Vodafone.