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Stock market update: Europe wins big

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European tire manufacturers significantly increased their worth per share in the first four months of 2006, with Nokian Tyres plc, Continental AG and Groupe Michelin the big winners on their respective European stock markets.

As with other stock exchanges, Europe benefited from the euro vs. United States dollar exchange rate (the dollar decreased 6% from Dec. 30, 2005, to April 28, 2006).

Nokian's stock price raised from $12.69 per share to $17.57, a 38.4% increase. Continental's stock price rose from $89.32 to $121.03, a 35.5% gain. Michelin's stock increased from $56.21 to $72.16, a 28.3% jump. Pirell & Cie SpA's stock price rose 7.6%.

Bridgestone Corp. (up 17.3%), Hankook Tire Co. (up 6%) and Nankang Rubber (up 32.8%) were the largest gainers in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, respectively.

Here are the stock price changes of 15 tire manufacturers tracked by www.moderntiredealer.com in the first four months of 2006, followed by each stock's price as of April 28.

Europe

Nokian: +38.4%, $17.57.

Continental: +35.5%, $121.03.

Michelin: +28.3%, $72.16.

Pirelli: +7.6%, $.99.

Japan

Bridgestone: +17.3%, $24.41.

Yokohama: -10.3%, $5.28.

Toyo: -12.3%, $4.64.

Korea

Hankook: +6%, $15.00.

Kumho: +0.38%, $15.79.

Nexen: -3.5%, $20.25.

Taiwan

Nankang: +32.8%, $1.66.

Federal: +29.8%, $.61.

Kenda: -4.1%, $.46

Singapore

Stamford: +16.1%, $.36.

Israel

Alliance: +7.2%, $204.

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