Around the World's Markets: Milan

ITALY'S AUGUST state surplus came in at 6.5 trillion lire, exactly in line with expectations and sparking fresh talk of a 2.2 per cent 1999 deficit-to-GDP ratio.

The data, which followed July's mammoth 35.4 trillion lire surplus, took the total state sector borrowing requirement for the first eight months of 1999 to 25.4 trillion lire, way below the 40.06 trillion in the corresponding 1998 period.

The Mibtel 30 index closed 0.6 per cent higher at 33,828.