Around the World's Markets: Milan

SHARE PRICES closed higher, as gains on other markets overshadowed concern about the political situation in Italy. The Mibtel closed up 279 points at 19,193, while the Mib30 rose 540 to 28,544.

The Communist Refoundation party, whose votes ensure Prime Minister Romano Prodi a lower house majority, is undecided over whether to back the 1999 budget and could pull its support altogether, which could force Mr Prodi to resign. The budget will be presented for cabinet approval tomorrow.