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Milan Stock Exchange reopens; prices drop

Share prices fell sharply when the Milan Stock Exchange reopened Monday after being closed for four days because of a price collapse. Fiat shares lost 6.4 percent; Pirelli, 5.3 percent; and Montedison, 3.5 percent, while shares of several less important companies plunge over 20 percent without attracting buyers.

Last week's closure of Italy's stock markets, of which Milan is the most important, was the first since 1917. The price collapse was caused by a flood of selling by speculators.

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Monday's falls may have been due to selling planned before the closure and did not necessarily indicate a longer-term trend, dealers said.

Prime Minister Giovanni Spadolini is to hold talks with minister today (July 14) on Italy's economic problems. The meeting will focus on the country's 20 percent inflation rate and a possible agreement among unions, industry, and government on wage indexati on and productivity.

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