Around the World's Markets

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The Independent Online
LONDON

Worries about Asia and fears of higher interest rates hampered shares but a late flourish produced an 18.5-point Footsie gain to 5,877.4.

In the past four sessions the index has risen 165 points.

The mid cap index was, however, back to losing ways, falling 5.4 to 5,522.3. Standard Chartered, the banking group, was the best performing blue chip, gaining 35.5p to 680.5p on reports that a 15 per cent shareholding is changing hands ahead of a bid.

Derek Pain, page 20

NEW YORK

WALL STREET closed on a subdued note yesterday, holding on to impressive gains over the week despite question marks over US earnings and the yen.

The Dow closed up just 8.22 points on the day at 8,943.80, unable to hold the day's highs. The blue-chip index gained 230.93 points, or 2.65 per cent, on the week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed up 3.90 points at 1,133.18, its second record high close this week. On the New York exchange, advancing issues edged ahead of fallers in light trading.

TOKYO

JAPANESE stocks rose on news that the ailing Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan may merge with Sumitomo Trust & Banking Corp, ending unease about LTCB's future.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 77.82 points, or 0.51 per cent, to 15,210.04. The broader Topix index gained 5.29 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 1190.82.

LTCB surged 15 yen, or 26 per cent, to 73 yen before being suspended, topping the most-active list with 18.6 million shares traded. Sumitomo Trust fell 20 yen, or 3 per cent, to 648 yen before trading was halted.

RUSSIA

THE MARKET tumbled yesterday, with the benchmark RTS index down 5 per cent to a 20-month low on concern that oil production cuts pledged by Opec will not be large enough to boost prices.

The Russian Trading System index fell to 163.99, its lowest level since 8 October 1996. OAO Lukoil Holding, the largest oil producer, fell 5.1 per cent to $9.20.

Stocks also dropped because talks on an International Monetary Fund emergency loan to the government could take months to finish, analysts said.

FRANCE

THE FRENCH stock market reached another closing high yesterday as Wall Street's early trading gains lifted the index in late afternoon after it had been flat for most of the day.

The CAC-40 index finished 11.89 points higher at a record closing of 4,215.70, off an intra-day high of 4,222.65.

Dealers said that although the yen lifted from a low of 143 earlier today on rumoured Bank of Japan intervention, it remained below 140 throughout the session and continued to weigh on the market.

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