THE STOCK market saw a turbulent day of trading, but its eventual direction was dictated by the US. The FTSE 100 closed up 25.2 points at 6039.8.
The market climbed strongly in the first few hours but slipped back all the way to its opening by noon. The mood picked up again as the US market opened positively.
Building materials group Hanson was among the high risers as the market concluded that recent falls were overdone.
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WALL STREET climbed higher in late morning trading, as "triple witching" expiration of options and futures was expected to produce volatility, and interest rate concerns moved to a back burner.
By midday, the Dow Jones was up 109 points, or 1.03 per cent, at 10,847. Internet auction site eBay was down 3.5 per cent on news it will soon face competition from a new network of nearly 100 rivals, including Microsoft and Lycos.
JAPANESE BLUE chips perked up as the dollar bounced above 106 yen and eased fears its recent surge would stall the economic recovery. The Nikkei 225 closed up 50.68 at 17,342.27. "The dollar's recovery above 106 made us believe that the market may be leaving the recent turbulence behind," said one trader.
The dollar's recent tumble to near 103 had sparked fears that the strong yen would slash Japanese manufacturers' overseas income and put the fledgling economic recovery at risk.
LEADING STOCKS gained after the dollar gained ground against the Japanese yen. The Hang Seng closed up 54.24 points or 0.40 per cent at 13,484.84.
Traders said the recovery was helped by optimism that the G7 would work together to weaken the yen. One said local investors were too pessimistic about a strong yen, which could help Asian exports and increase Japanese investment in manufacturing elsewhere in Asia.
GERMAN SHARES surrendered earlier gains to end almost unchanged as investors shrugged off Wall Street's positive opening and sold core industrial stocks.
The DAX-30 closed down half a points at 5,301.86, off an earlier high of 5,365.27.
Chemicals maker Henkel fell 3 per cent, drugs maker Schering and utility Viag lost 2 per cent and electronic group Siemens slipped more than 1 per cent. Deutsche Telekom, the heaviest DAX share, retreated 1 per cent.