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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire overnight wrap

Friday 28th November 2008

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ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, plans to eliminate as many as 9,000 jobs, or 3% of its global workforce, reflecting a drop in demand as the global economy slows.

The Luxembourg-based company said it aims to slash US$1 billion of costs.

Stocks in Europe extended their advance and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose for a fourth day on optimism government efforts to underpin the region's economies and support its banks are starting to gain traction. The Stoxx 600 rose 2.4% to 203.62.

In Germany, the DAX 30 rose 2.3% to 4665.27, led by a 12% increase for Deutsche Bank. Engineering firm MAN AG gained 11% and Allianz SE advanced 10%. France's CAC 40 rose 2.5% to 3250.39 and in London, the FTSE 100 Index advanced 1.8% to 4226.1. Xstrata led gainers, rising 12% while Standard Chartered rose 11.6%. US markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stocks rose even as a measure of European executive and consumer confidence fell to a 15-month low in November.

The sentiment index fell to 74.9, more than expected, from 80 in October, the European Commission said. Other figures showed retail sales in Europe fell to the lowest in at least five years.

The rally in stocks helped drive bonds lower. The yield on the bund rose 1 basis point to 3.3%.

Joaquin Almunia, the EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner, said the EU will cut its economic forecasts and predict the region's economy extended its recession in 2009, reflecting the worldwide slump.

"The crisis may not end next year," Almunia said in Brussels. "We need to revise our previous estimates to negative growth." The region's economy is in its first recessionAlmunia said in Brussels today. The financial turmoil has pushed the euro-area economy into its first recession in almost a decade.

UK house prices dropped for the 13th straight month in November as home loans became harder to secure and the financial crisis scared off buyers, according to Nationwide Building Society. The average cost of a home fell 0.4%. Prices declined 14% in the year to an average 158,442 pounds.

Crude oil fell as some traders speculated demand will abate as the US economy falls into recession. Crude oil for January delivery slid 3.3% to US$52.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold reached the highest in almost five weeks in London as the US dollar fell, boosting demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment. Gold for immediate delivery rose 0.3% to US$813.33 an ounce in London.

The euro rose to the highest level in almost three weeks against the US dollar after a report showed German unemployment declined and as the region's stocks rose for a fourth day.

The euro traded was at $1.2899 from $1.288 and earlier reached as high as $1.2968. The dollar fell to 95.41 yen from 95.67.

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