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BREAKING NEWS

Europe shares close higher

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Europe shares close higher

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European shares finished Monday up, led by energy producers and mining companies thanks to higher oil and metals prices, but many traders are away this week so volume was light. Banks and pharmaceuticals performed well but insurers were under pressure on a report that total costs associated with natural catastrophes in 2008 will be the third highest on record.

The British pound tumbled to a record low against the euro and a basket of currencies. That is due to expectations that a weak UK economy will require more interest rate cuts which will keep rates there lower than those in the euro zone.