LONDON -- In a week when George Soros warned that the key eurozone problem is one of competitiveness rather than debt, eyes turned to Germany, which is bearing the brunt of the bailouts. But some confidence was on show, and the DAX (INDEX: ^GDAXI) even recovered a little over the week, finishing up 1% at 6,131.
And perhaps more surprisingly, banking stocks had a good week. Commerzbank gained 6% to 1.4 euros, with Deutsche Bank just behind on a 5% gain to 28.5 euros, and other financials putting on around 3%-4%.
Steel and engineering group ThyssenKrupp led the fallers, with a further 6% drop to 12 euros on top of last week's 9% fall. No other German stocks lost more than 2%.
A good week in France
In neighboring France, the CAC 40 (INDEX: ^FCHI) staged a recovery, too, coming back 3.4% to end on 3,052. But despite one good week, along with the other European markets, the Paris index is still well down compared with a year ago.
As in Germany, French financials had a bit of a breather, with BNP Paribas (28.4 euros), Axa (9.6 euros), Societe Generale (17.5 euros), and Credit Agricole (3.1 euros) all gaining more than 9%.
Utilities and service provider Veolia Environnement saw the biggest fall, down nearly 10% to 9.6 euros, with engineer Vallourec dropping 2.3% to 32 euros.
Cheery news from London
Across the English Channel, where it was raining on the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, there was no room for pessimism. The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) regained 3.3% to 5,435, reversing the past two weeks' falls.
Stocks that were in a party mood included a raft of miners that have been falling of late, with Fresnillo up 12% to 1,442 pence, followed by Kazakhmys gaining 8.5% to 705 pence and Antofagasta 7% to 1,048 pence. Precious-metals and specialty-chemicals producer Johnson Matthey released strong results, which pushed the price up a nice 9.5% to 2,304 pence.
The only FTSE 100 faller of note was agribusiness Tate & Lyle, which dropped 3.7% to 636 pence.
"No banking crisis here"
"We won't be asking for bailout cash," said Spain, and the markets swallowed it, at least for this week. The IBEX 35 (INDEX: ^IBEX) regained some ground and ended up 7% on 6,494. But to put that into perspective, it comes after last week's nine-year low point.
And in Greece, with signs that the upcoming general election may well bring in a pro-euro government after all, the Athens General Index (INDEX: GD.AT) turned downward again, with 1.7% being shaved off it to end at 493.
George Soros also predicted that there's only around three months left to save the euro. Is he right? Well, he was right about the happily defunct European Exchange Rate Mechanism back in 1992, and you'd have to be brave to bet against him now.
Finally, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett has spent more than $1 billion buying the shares of one of the UK's most successful large caps. Clearly, he thinks there are bargains to be had within Britain's FTSE 100, and you can discover the details of his investment -- including the price he paid -- by reading this free report.
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At the time thisarticle was published Alan Oscroft owns no shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Veolia Environnement. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
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