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OMX

Trading in OMX suspended

Trading in Swedish stock exchange owner OMX was suspended on Thursday. The company said in a statement that it was suspending trading in its own shares until further notice. A statement from the company will be released before trading opens on Friday morning.

The website of Swedish business newspaper Dagens Industri claims to have received information indicating that the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has made an offer for the company. The paper reports rumours from London that LSE has bid 190 kronor per share for the company, which owns stock exchanges across Scandinavia and the Baltic region.

US exchange operator Nasdaq, which itself has tried on a number of occasions to take over LSE, is also rumoured to be interested in bidding for OMX. None of the three companies have so far commented on the speculation.

STOCKS

Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The Stockholm stock exchange closed at a record high on Wednesday, with the OMXS index climbing 1.4 percent to smash the previous record set in 2007.

Stockholm stock market hits new all-time high

The OMXS closed at 430.6, besting by more than three points the previous record of 427.2 set in July 2007.

"Finally, after more than five years, we've come up to the all-time high," Nordea stock strategist Martin Guri told the TT news agency.

The Stockholm stock market's advanced was in line with developments on other exchanges around the world, and can be attributed to a new World Bank forecast indicting advances in global economic growth. Strong retail sales statistics from the United States helped as well.

Guri rejected any notion that the Stockholm exchange's recent rise was any sort of bubble, but is simply a continuation of a strong 2013.

"We had the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s. Now we can say that we've left it behind and are moving on to the next chapter," he said.

"The market could rise somewhere between ten and 20 percent this year."

He added that there are many signs of economic improvements, and while economic growth may not be strong, risks have deteriorated, bolstering investor confidence. 

Guri cited central banks in the US, Japan, and the eurozone for stimulating stock market growth.

"They've promised financial markets they plan to keep interest rates low," he said.

Wednesday's OMXS rise was led by heavyweights such as retailer H&M and bank Nordea, which climbed 2.7 percent and three percent, respectively, as the Swedish fashion retailer reported better than expected sales results for December.

Other market winners on Wednesday included pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, telecom equipment maker Ericsson, and truck maker Scania, all of which rose by around two percent.

The Swedish krona weakened slightly against the dollar, which can now buy 6.48 kronor. The krona-euro exchange rate remain unchanged, at 8.80 kronor to the euro.

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