(Adds comment from Swiss Re, edits)
ZURICH/LONDON, March 12 Shares in Swiss Re pared gains after the Zurich-based reinsurer denied that Fiat's founding Agnelli family is poised to buy a stake in the company.
"Contrary to market speculation, Swiss Re is not in discussion with the Agnelli family or any of its investment vehicles regarding the possible acquisition of a stake in Swiss Re," the company said on Wednesday.
The speculation had caused a surge in Swiss Re stock, leading European risers earlier on Wednesday with a 6 percent climb in high-volume trading.
By 0945 GMT the shares were up 1.4 percent at 82.80 Swiss francs, still outpacing the wider European insurance sector's 0.2 percent decline.
Swiss Re shares were trading at volumes more than twice their three-month daily average, easily outpacing the 24 percent average for the broader FTSEurofirst 300.
Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Simon Jessop, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Francesco Canepa, Katharina Bart and Lisa Jucca; Editing by David Goodman)