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Bookies see major European indexes up 1.1-1.5%

European shares are set to open sharply higher on Friday, financial bookmakers said, tracking gains in the US as a report that US investment bank Lehman Brothers is shopping itself to possible suitors.

Financial bookmakers expected Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE to open up 61 to 65 points, or as much as 1.2%, Germany’s DAX .GDAXI to open 49 to 70 points higher, or as much as 1.1%, and France’s CAC-40 .FCHI to be 45 to 65 points higher, or as much as 1.5%.

The FTSEurofirst 300 of top European companies fell for the third day in a row on Thursday, down 0.65%. (Reuters)