Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online

David Bowen, of the Independent and Independent on Sunday, is national newspaper industrial journalist of the year. The award, sponsored by Texaco and the Industrial Society, was given for his 'stylish and authoritative' reporting on a wide range of topics. The overall industrial journalism award went to BBC Radio 4, the provincial industrial journalist is Gerard Henderson of the Manchester Evening News, and the magazine award was won by Keith Butterick of Finance North.


Rolls-Royce has won a third power station contract in India, bringing to pounds 660m the value of deals concluded by the company on the sub-continent this week. The latest contract, worth pounds 275m, is for a coal-fired station in West Bengal.


Housing starts in the US climbed 2.7 per cent in October, the third monthly rise in a row, to their highest since February 1990.


Geoffrey Stone, finance director of Owners Abroad, has resigned, making him the third director to leave the group since July.


World demand for textiles and clothing is likely to grow by an average of 2.8 per cent a year up to 2002, when it will have reached 50 million tons, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Textile Intelligence said.


Workers at the Irish state-owned airline, Aer Lingus, will receive a 5 per cent stake in the company once a Ir pounds 20m rationalisation plan is formally accepted. A further 5 per cent will be available when the company, which lost Ir pounds 188m ( pounds 182.5m) in the year to March, returns to profit.


Amec, the engineering and development group, is bidding to establish an intermediate station on the Channel tunnel rail link at Rainham, Essex. It will face competition from three other sites.

dollars 2.5bn BOEING ORDER

Boeing has won a 42.5bn order for its new twin-engined 737-X jet. Southwest Airlines will take delivery of 63 aircraft between 1997 and 2001. Boeing's share price surged in the late afternoon trading as news spread that an announcement was imminent. Shares ended the day up dollars 3.125 at dollars 40.75


NEW YORK: Profit-taking on Tuesday's record gains drove the Dow Jones average into negative territory where it closed 6.42 points lower at 3,704.35.

TOKYO: A day of choppy trading lowered the Nikkei average 137.41 points to 18,108.71.

HONG KONG: Heavy profit-taking helped to send the Hang Seng index plunging 176.67 to 9,506.98.

SYDNEY: Interest in bank shares and Wall Street's overnight gains combined to lift the All Ordinaries index 20.5 points to 2,104.3.

BOMBAY: Early gains were eroded by profit-taking. The index ended 1.91 firmer at 2,854.03.

JOHANNESBURG: Despite weakness in gold shares, a buoyant industrial sector carried the overall index to 4,164, a 38-point gain.

PARIS: Hopes of lower interest rates propelled the CAC-40 index up 32.14 points to 2,147.99.

ZURICH: The SPI edged up 0.44 to 1,718.66 in light trade.

MILAN: Telecommunications stocks led the market off early lows to close higher, with banks the main focus of attention.

LONDON: Report, page 36.