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Around the World's Markets: Frankfurt

DESPITE A lack of activity in the run-up to the euro, shares in German companies continued the upward trend of the previous four trading days, with the benchmark DAX index gaining 0.3 per cent to finish at 5,056.

Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, rose nearly 2 per cent, while rival Allianz gained 2.5 per cent, as investors expect European insurance companies to increase competitiveness once the single currency comes into being.