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Around the World's Markets; New York

THE NASDAQ composite notched up its biggest gain since 29 October as investors looked to an expected new-year rally and seized the chance to buy shares that slumped in the first two days of the week. The strength of computer stocks helped other leading indices to make headway.

The Nasdaq rose 98.61 points, 2.9 per cent, to 3,452.32. The Dow Jones average climbed 40.67 points, 0.4 per cent, to 11,039.06. The S&P500 advanced 11.32, 0.8 per cent, to 1,409.04.