THE FTSE 100 recovered from early losses to close modestly higher as investors took heart from strong gains on Wall Street and firming bond prices. Breaking a three-day losing streak, the index finished 18.7 points or 0.29 per cent higher at 6,435.4. After nearing its all-time high on Monday, the FTSE ended the week with a net loss of some 92 points. Gains were capped by persisting worries over an expected US interest rate rise, as the Fed's monetary policy committee meets on 29-30 June.
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WALL STREET stocks extended their recovery in late morning trading yesterday as bargain hunting gained momentum.
By mid-afternoon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 84 points, or 1.0 per cent, at 10,619, with the battered financial sector enjoying the biggest rebound. The market's strength came as bonds steadied after a protracted slide this week. Trading activity was subdued ahead of next week's meeting of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate policy committee.
TOKYO'S BENCHMARK Nikkei average finished moderately down, pushed by concern about volatility in New York stocks and growing caution over prospects for tighter US monetary policy. Energy was also sapped by attention drawn to NTT Mobile Communications Network Inc (NTT Docomo), after the company implemented a five-for-one stock split, effective yesterday. The Nikkei 225 average was down 191.80 points or 1.09 per cent at 17,436.52. September Nikkei futures closed 190 points lower at 17,480.
HONG KONG stocks closed slightly higher yesterday, with strong demand for Hutchison Whampoa cancelling out profit-taking pressure. The Hang Seng Index closed up 4.39 points or 0.03 per cent to 13,784.51. Turnover was HK$8.22bn, down from HK$11.58bn on Thursday. Traders said demand for Hutchison on the strength of its foray into the huge US cellular market buoyed a thin market which would otherwise have fallen on profit- taking pressures and last-minute US interest rate concerns.
GERMANY'S DAX benchmark share index reversed early losses and rose a fraction with activity subdued ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting on US interest rates next week.
The DAX ended up 0.24 per cent, or 13.03 points, at 5,340.63 in electronic trading. The floor DAX no longer exists. Deutsche Telekom was the most traded stock and a leading decliner, falling 1.65 per cent to 41.68 euros. On Monday Deutsche Telekom will offer up to 285.9 million new shares across Europe.