Around the World's Markets

SHARE PRICES erased early gains to close sharply lower after fears of imminent interest rate hikes emerged following the second part of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's Humphrey- Hawkins testimony.

The Dow Jones index closed near its session lows, down 144.75 or 1.52 per cent at 9,399.67.

The high-technology Nasdaq index fell 36.95 to 2,339.40.

The Standard & Poors 500 index closed down 17.76 at 1,253.42.