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Around the World's Markets: FRANKFURT

THE XETRA DA gave up gains enjoyed for much of the session to close down 0.37 per cent at 5,275.57 points as Wall Street made a negative start.

One trader said: "It was clear we would fall if the Dow opened lower, and I think we could lose some more if the Americans fall further."

Chemicals stocks weighed on the DAX with Hoechst falling 2.94 per cent to 40.90 euros amid speculation that its planned merger with France's Rhone-Poulenc could be delayed.