Around the World's Markets: Frankfurt

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THE DAX index crept into positive territory just before the close, led by a tentative return to strength by the dollar and news that German chemicals group Hoechst had sold its paint unit. The DAX had hovered above the key 4,500 level throughout most of the day as investors took a breather and awaited guidance.

The electronically-traded Xetra DAX closed up 5.61 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 4,569.73 after dipping to 4,483.26. The floor DAX, which closes half an hour earlier, ended 0.29 per cent higher at 4,549.33.