Around the World's Markets

LONDON

WORRIES about hedge funds hit equities. The FTSE 100 slid 106.6 points to 5,061, and the mid and small cap indices descended to new lows for year.

Downgradings from analysts also took their toll. Glaxo Wellcome suffered a 90p hit to 1,708p as Goldman Sachs took the shares off its buy list. Centrica, the gas group, was a top performer, climbing 4p to a 121p closing peak on its electricity expansion and prospects for gas exports.

Derek Pain, page 21

NEW YORK

STOCKS FELL for a second day on concern that losses at banks and brokerages will multiply because of their involvement with one of the world's riskiest hedge funds.

American Express, Chase Manhattan and other financial companies declined after Credit Suisse Group, UBS and Dresdner Bank said they would write off investments in Long- Term Capital Management.

The Dow Jones was down 18.02 points at 7982.97 by midday.

TOKYO

THE STOCK market fell over 3 per cent on Friday amid renewed concern about the fragile banking system and Wall Street. The Nikkei average closed 481.94 points or 3.39 per cent lower at 13,723.84. Nikkei December futures were down 460 at 13,780.

Comments by a high-ranking Japanese official fuelled concern that key banking legislation would be further delayed, which compounded institutional worries surrounding the bail-out of the hedge fund LTCM .

HONG KONG

SHARE PRICES closed lower, but off lows, on profit-taking in the wake of losses on Wall Street and in Tokyo, prompted by concerns over the failure of the US hedge fund LTCM. The Hang Seng Index closed down 133.00 points at 7,701.61.

Dealers said falls were limited by expectations of interest rate cuts in the US and China. There is widespread speculation the HKMA is stepping up its end of month action in the futures market.

FRANKFURT

DEUTSCHE BANK and other financial stocks were among the fallers in Frankfurt after UBS warned that it would report a third-quarter loss of up to SFr1bn on Thursday. After a volatile day the DAX Xetra index ended down 26.93 points at 4,584.4.

Siemens fell on reports that it would announce year's profits down to DM1bn (DM2.6bn last year) amid quality and delivery problems at its train and gas turbine divisions. Siemens said the reports were "speculation".

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