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The Independent Online

THE STOCKMARKET posted another hefty loss yesterday amid growing fears of an increase in US interest rates. The FTSE 100 closed 134.6 lower at 6165.8 after earlier losses were deepened by a sharp opening deficit on Wall Street. Turnover was the lowest since the start of the year as many players remained on the sidelines before today's US rates decision. The smaller indices also had a poor day, with the FTSE 250 closing 62.4 down at 5701.2 and the Small Cap shedding 17.8 to close at 2563.3. Market Report, page 21


THE DOW JONES Industrial average was down 1.24 per cent at 10,777.58 on investor fears of rising interest rates.

United Technologies fell $5-9/16 to $135-15/16. General Motors was $4- 13/16 off at $78-1/4. IBM slid $5-3/8 at $234-1/2. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 10.74 to 2,517.12 and the Nasdaq 100 was down 2.83 at 2,122.32.

Bucking the trend was Microsoft, the most actively traded share, up $1- 1/2 at $78-3/8. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down 10.12 at 1,327.68.


THE NIKKEI 225 dropped 389.37, or 2.3 per cent, to 16,421.02, a six-week low, amid lingering concerns over possible interest rate rises in the United States.

Sony, down 1.2 per cent to 11,180 yen, and Toyota, down 3 per cent to 3,280 yen, led the fall.

Banks fell, led by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, down 2.8 per cent at 1,692 yen. Fuji Bank was 5.7 per cent down at 819 yen.

Shi-Etsu Chemical Corp fell 3.1 per cent to 3,700 yen after posting lower-than-expected annual results.


THE HANG SENG index of leading shares fell by 266.92 points to 12,588.60 after interbank three-month loan rates rose by 25 points to 5.375.

HSBC Holdings, which owns Hong Kong's two largest banks, fell by 2.3 per cent to HK$260. HSBC's Hang Seng Bank fell by 2.6 per cent to HK$83.75.

Cheung Kong Holdings, one of Hong Kong's two largest developers, was down by 1.5 per cent at HK$67.75. Sun Hung Kai Properties was down by 3.3 per cent at HK$66.00.


THE BLUE-CHIP Xetra DAX closed down 81.49 points, or 1.57 per cent, at 5,102.00, trailing the US market which was weaker amid fears over rising interest rates.

Siemens lost 2.3 per cent at 69.965 euros on profit taking following earnings data and a trading statement. Deutsche Bank's reported 25 per cent rise in first-quarter net profits failed to prevent its 0.82 per cent slide to 53 euros. Hoechst bucked the trend, rising 2.5 per cent to 41 euros on revisions to the structure of its deal with France's Rhone- Poulenc.