Stocks finish up on final trading before Christmas

The Stockholm stock exchange ended a down week with a slight upturn on Friday, giving investors something to cheer about as they head into the Christmas break.

The OMXS index closed up 1.8 percent on Friday, finishing the day at 360.7. The OMXS is still down 6.4 percent for 2007.

Ericsson was the day’s big winner, with its stock climbing 3.9 percent to close at 15.38 kronor. The Stockholm exchange followed other international markets with companies from a wide-range of sectors posting gains for the day.

Besides Ericsson, other winners included Volvo, which closed up 3.5 percent to 110 kronor; Nordea, up 2.5 percent to 107.60 kronor; and Atlas Copco, which finished up 2.4 percent to 96 kronor.

News of Sandvik’s agreement with U.S. medical giant Medtronic for the purchase of a manufacturing unit specialized in spinal surgery instruments resulted in Sandvik’s stock finishing up 1.9 percent to 110 kronor.

Trading resumes on the Stockholm exchange on Thursday, December 27 following the Christmas holiday break.