Around the World's Markets: Milan

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ITALIAN SHARES closed higher in quiet trading with gains led by bargain-hunters in second-line stocks and helped by the prospect of a further cut in Italian interest rates into line with the new euro-standard rate.

The Mibtel index ended 84 higher at 22,733. Bank shares closed off their highs and Banca di Roma ended eight lower at 2,711. Telecom Italia shed early gains to close just five better at 13,950 after the regulator announced new price curbs.