ZURICH/FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - Well-received quarterly figures from Zurich boosted the entire sector on Thursday. While Zurich shares rose by 2.4 percent, which is not much more than is needed to close the price gap that emerged in April, the sector was the best performer in the European Stoxx 600 index, rising by 1.5 percent. It is thus back on course for its highest level since 2001, reached at the beginning of April.

In the Dax, Munich Re, Allianz and Hannover Re, the three major German insurers, took the top three places with share price gains of up to 1.8 percent. In the MDax, Talanx rose by four percent.

Zurich's key figures showed the continuing dynamism of its business and should arouse further interest in the shares among investors, wrote analyst Will Hardcastle of UBS in an initial commentary. The strength results in particular from premium growth and the profitability of the US subsidiary Farmers./ajx/ag/jha/