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Around the World's Markets: London

LOWER INTEREST-RATE hopes helped blue chips higher, with Footsie ending 78 points ahead at 6,105.6. Supporting shares also made headway. Hi-tech shares led the field with computer and Internet-related stocks achieving strong progress, partly on the back of the overnight New York display.

Reuters, up 88p to 868p, its highest ever, was the best-performing Footsie constituent. British Aerospace recovered some of Tuesday's fall, climbing 24.5p to 450p following the Marconi deal.

Derek Pain, page 23