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The Independent Online
US stocks set a record in each of the last six days as the Dow Jones Index passed the 7500, 7600 and 7700 milestones in rapid succession. The gains were led by the big-name stocks such as Gillette, Exxon, which are at their highest levels in comparison with earnings than at any time in the last 25 years. The Dow Jones Index rose 4.66 per cent on the week, taking it to 7782.04 at the close on Friday.

In London, UK stocks followed the US, rising 2.97 per cent and also closing at a record high of 4783.10. Stocks such as Shell, retailers and engineering stocks led the gains. Some of these stocks had been left behind, but are now being bought, as investors seek stocks which are relatively cheaper.

In Germany the DAX Index rose 1.33 per cent to 3744.44 as a strong dollar, which gained more than half a percentage point against the mark, lifted optimism for export earnings. Chemical makers Degussa, Bayer and Hoechst led the gains.

In France, the CAC Index closed at a record high on Friday at 2808.52, having risen 3.3 per cent. Car manufacturer Renault and Credit Lyonnais made the biggest gains. The market benefited from gains in the US, combined with growing optimism about the benefits in low interest rates and reduced foreign exchange costs from EMU. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg