Around the World's Markets: Sao Paulo

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The Independent Online
SHARE PRICES closed sharply lower amid plummeting investor confidence that no local news seems capable of raising.

The Bovespa index closed 488 points, or 7.61 per cent, lower at 5,915 points, off a low of 5,791, on low turnover. The market was close to circuit- breaker limits as concerns persisted over the decision of the state of Minas Gerais to default on its debt to the government.

The real firmed to 1.2106 to the dollar.