Around the World's Markets
Wednesday 19 August 1998
FOOTSIE scored its best ever one- day points gain. The index surged 181 points to 5,648.2, beating its previous record of 160.8, achieved in September last year.
But in percentage terms it was not a record. The best one-day advance occurred as the market was emerging from the 1987 crash when in a single session it jumped 7.32 per cent. Inflation and taxation figures, corporate action and New York's strength prompted the sudden advance.
Derek Pain, page 17
SHARE PRICES rallied in late morning following the completion of the rouble devaluation and President Clinton's testimony to a Federal Grand Jury. At 11:20am in New York, the Dow Jones was up 106.48 at 8,681.69.
Dealers said that expectations of an unchanged rates policy as the Federal Reserve met were boosted the banking sector, while the hi-tech sector greeted the news that PC and microchip inventories were declining.
JAPAN'S BENCHMARK Nikkei index posted its largest gain in six weeks as a Wall Street rally eased concerns that a global economic slowdown is looming. Exporters like Sony and Denso set the pace after US stocks made their best showing in two months, suggesting that the impact of Asia's recession and Russia's financial unrest may not be as deep as initially feared.
The Nikkei 225 stock index rose 269.13 points (or 1.82 per cent) to 15,063.79, its biggest jump since 1 July.
STOCKS SLIPPED in cautious trade after Friday's unprecedented intervention in the market by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. The Hang Seng index ended 13.77 points or 0.19 per cent lower at 7,210.92.
Dealers said continued short-covering and gains in Wall Street and the Nikkei helped avert a heavy sell-off. The HKMA declined to comment earlier on whether it had intervened in the market again to fend off speculators.
TAIWAN'S INDEX closed 1.3 per cent down at 7,181.6 after comments by the finance minister and suspected buying by state funds helped cushion early falls as foreign funds dumped shares.
Traders said fears over the outlook for the electronics industry and Russia's rouble devaluation had hit sentiment, and foreign funds were selling stock following moves by the central bank over the weekend to tighten capital controls. The index has fallen over 12 per cent since January.
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