Business and City in Brief

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Rise in house prices slows

Average house prices rose by 0.6 per cent last month, according to figures from Nationwide Building Society. This compared with a 1.8 per cent increase in July, the highest one- month rise for more than a year.

House prices are now 2.6 per cent higher than a year ago. Nationwide said that its new year prediction of a 5 per cent increase in house prices was unlikely to be fulfilled.

Waterford full

Pre-tax profits at Waterford Wedgwood rose from Ir pounds 400,000 to Ir pounds 5.1m in the first half to 30 June, on sales up from Ir pounds 135.4m to Ir pounds 149.3m. Earnings per share were 0.6p, up from 0.02p.

More credit

Consumer credit demand increased in July, but at a slower pace than in previous months, according to the credit information group Infolink. The number of applications for retail credit, car loans and finance house loans increased. Mortgage applications to specialist home loan companies were 14 per cent down on a year earlier.

New Leyland

Leyland Trucks, the independent British company that emerged from the collapse of the Netherlands-based Daf empire last year, is to invest pounds 25m in a new model to be known as the 55 Series. Separately, the new Daf Trucks company in the Netherlands announced net profit for the first half of 1994 of pounds 14.5m on turnover of pounds 342.2m.

Stakis purchase

Stakis has paid pounds 5.9m cash for the 135-room, three-star Palace Hotel and Casino in Douglas, Isle of Man. The casino is the only one on the island.

Boost for coal

British Coal is to produce up to 750,000 tonnes of coal a year for the domestic and industrial markets from the Selby complex in Yorkshire, until now dedicated to coal for power generation.

Lucas appointment

Jack Fryer, former managing director of Lucas Automotive, has been appointed strategic planning director.

Clubs change hands

Allied Leisure is cutting its pounds 14m of debts by selling two nightclubs and a bar on the south coast to Rank Organisation for pounds 4.5m. The businesses being sold are The Zoo & The Cage in Bournemouth and the Venue with its adjacent bar, Colonnades, at Poole.

Strike threat

Colombia's oil workers have threatened to strike next week in a move that could stop crude sales to foreign customers.

WORLD MARKETS

New York: Opening falls were trimmed later, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovering to 3,901.44, down 11.98 points by the close.

Tokyo: Trading volumes picked up but the market remained flat, with the Nikkei average edging up 14.4 points to 20,642.93.

Hong Kong: After briefly breaching the 10,000 barrier the Hang Seng index fell back to end 38.49 points lighter at 9,890.9.

Sydney: Profit-taking in blue chips lowered the All Ordinaries index 16.5 points to 2,105.5.

Bombay: The index retreated 45.38 points from Wednesday's all-time high to close at 4,542.78.

Johannesburg: Bullish sentiment over the gold price lifted the index 35 points to 5,868.

Paris: Morning losses were unaffected by the no-change decision on interest rates. The CAC-40 index gave up 34.17 to 2,034.91.

Frankfurt: In thin trade the DAX index fell 12.05 to 2,200.8.

Zurich: Futures-dominated trading took the Swiss Performance Index down 9.8 to 1,740.52.

London: Report, page 30.

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