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The Independent Online
LONDON

FEARS of another interest rate increase and a slowdown in the economy took the edge off shares. The end of the financial quarter today was another influence as fund managers tidied up their portfolios. Footsie, at one time up 46.5 points, ended 7.1 higher at 5,884.5p. Supporting indices again gave ground. British Aerospace was the highest flying blue chip, up 40.5p to 469.5p, on hopes of a British Airways contract with Airbus Industrie, where BAe is a partner. Derek Pain, page 21

NEW YORK

US STOCKS rose as investors snapped up shares of computer companies such as Microsoft on expectations that their profit growth will match or exceed investors' forecasts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.77, or 0.7 per cent, to 9010.31 in midafternoon trading. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.48, or 0.9 per cent, to 1887.01. Hopes were high for a real commitment to economic reforms by the Japanese government.

TOKYO

SHARE prices in Tokyo closed higher a fourth day, as the government worked on plans for a "bridge bank'' to bolster the nation's fragile financial system.

The Nikkei 225 index rose 155.69 points, or 1.02 per cent, to 15,365.73. The broader Topix index of all shares gained 11.40 points, or 0.96 per cent, to 1202.22. Brokers said sentiment was also boosted by the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey of business sentiment, which was more positive than expected..

Reports, page 19

GERMANY

THE XETRA DAX extended gains in afternoon trade, moving ever closer to 6,000 points ahead of the bourse's effective early close for the World Cup football match between Germany and Mexico, dealers said. "It's still rising but most of the attention will be on the game later," one dealer said. The Xetra DAX closed at 5,933.73, up 18.60 from the floor close and up from Friday's Xetra close of 5,870.49. The DAX closed today's floor session up 44.71 at 5,915.13.

MEXICO

MEXICAN stocks inched up in early trade as brokers awaited the outcome of Mexico's World Cup match against Germany, dealers said. The leading IPC index was up 0.5 per cent at 4180.5 as Germany beat Mexico 2.1 at 5.30pm. The index lost 110.92 points, or 2.6 per cent last week and the peso hit an all-time closing low against the dollar on Friday as the currency failed to react strongly to a central bank move to tighten monetary policy in the face of rising inflation pressure.

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