IN SUBDUED trading, shares were weighed down by the continuing Far Eastern crisis and yet another strong display by sterling. But Footsie managed to close up from its day's low, down 35.7 points at 5,712.4.
Supporting indices were also pulled back. Orange, the mobile phone group expected to announce lower tariffs today, was the best-performing blue chip, jumping 28p to a 551p high. Compass, the contract caterer, was another to buck the downward trend as takeover rumours persisted.
THE DOW ended little changed yesterday after a late sell-off wiped out the day's modest gains, but the Nasdaq advanced solidly amid an ongoing rebound in tech stocks. Traders blamed the day's volatile moves in blue chips on the aftermath of Friday's triple-witch stock futures and options expiry sell-off and late-session computer sell programmes hitting a thinly traded market. The Dow ended off 1.74 points at 8,711.13 after briefly edging 50 points higher.
JAPANESE stocks rose on expectations that the government will unveil a detailed plan early next month to speed up the disposal of banks' bad loans.
The Nikkei 225 index rose 135.92 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 15,403.90. The broader Topix index gained 5.74 points, or 0.48 per cent, to end at 1,193.01. Banking stocks led the rise after an announcement that the government would present a comprehensive strategy to resolve Japan's banking crisis by 8 July.
HONG KONG stocks fell sharply yesterday amid concerns that Japan might delay the introduction of measures to revive its flagging economy and solve its banks' debt problems. The Hang Seng index ended a four-day rally with a 387.70-point drop to 8,204.21 - 4.5 per cent lower than Friday's close.
The main cause for the slump was a fall in the yen, which was triggered by worries over Japanese measures to kick-start its economy.
GERMAN SHARES were mixed as concern that Japan's lack of resolve to reform its economy would prolong Asia's recession offset gains by Munich Re after Lehman Brothers raised its recommendation on the stock.
The benchmark DAX Xetra Index fell 3.73 points to 5,647.94.
Munich Re, the reinsurance giant, was among the best performers, rising DM49.25 to DM862.5 (pounds 287) as Lehman upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "neutral".Reuse content