Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
CAR PRODUCTION IN UK RISES 15%

Car production in the UK in January rose nearly 15 per cent to 109,124 compared with a year ago, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

But it warned underlying growth might be marginal because the comparison was distorted by differences in factory working and the period reviewed. Export production rose 21.21 per cent to 50,292.

US PRICES SURGE

Consumer prices in the US surged 0.5 per cent in January, the steepest jump in two years, after a 0.2 per cent increase in December. The 1992 trade deficit deteriorated for the first time in five years, widening 29 per cent to dollars 84.3bn from dollars 65.5bn in 1991.

DAF IN DOUBT

The future of DAF, the Anglo- Dutch truck maker, remained in doubt after a meeting in Amsterdam between administrators and nine banks ended without decision.

BA CHALLENGED

Air France is challenging in court a European Commission decision not to investigate further British Airways' acquisition of TAT, a regional French airline, or its 49.9 per cent stake in Dan-Air.

STEELED FOR CUTS

Krupp Stahl will shut a scrap steel recycling plant in Siegen- Hagen, Germany, with the loss of 3,500 jobs. Earlier, the German Steel Association said up to 40,000 jobs would have to go in the next few years.

GERMAN PRICES

Producer prices in western Germany rose 0.2 per cent in January from December and 0.8 per cent year-on-year. In eastern Germany, rent increases sent year-on-year inflation soaring to 8.9 per cent in January from 2.8 per cent in December.

DTI CLEARS LUCAS

The Department of Trade and Industry has cleared the proposed acquisition by Sophus Berendsen of the fluid power business of Lucas Industries.

ROLLS CONTRACT

Rolls-Royce said its Cooper Rolls division won contracts for gas turbine equipment worth more than dollars 120m from five European oil and gas companies. Rolls-Royce's share is dollars 35m.

FRANCE SLUMPS

French industrial output slumped 1 per cent in December, leaving output at the end of last year 3.7 per cent lower than in December 1991 - its lowest level since October 1988.

EC ELF INQUIRY

The European Commission has opened an inquiry into plans by Elf Aquitaine to take over the Yves Saint Laurent fashion and beauty products company.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Share prices see- sawed wildy in the wake of the Clinton package. The Dow Jones Average ended down 10 points at 3,302.19.

TOKYO: The Nikkei Average eased 27.49 to 16,982 on arbitrage-linked selling.

HONG KONG: The Hang Seng index ended 99.48 better at 6,186.94, its ninth gain in succession.

SYDNEY: Overseas demand for bank shares led the All Ordinaries index 6 points higher to 1,607.3.

JOHANNESBURG: Profit-taking in gold shares clipped 41 points from the index at 1,009.

FRANKFURT: Optimism over lower interest rates boosted the DAX index 19 to 1,672.26, its best level in seven months.

MILAN: A near-10 per cent leap in Fiat group shares helped lift the MIB 1.64 per cent to 1,118.

ZURICH: The all-share SPI index firmed 10.7 to 1,296.3.

PARIS: Strength on Wall Street encouraged the CAC-40 index 21.55 higher at 1,926.52.

LONDON: Report, page 25.

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