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Italy cuts rates by 1 point

The Bank of Italy will cut its official discount rate by 1 percentage point to 14 per cent from Monday. A statement by the central bank said its fixed-term advances, or Lombard rate, would fall by the same amount to 15 per cent.

Japanese losses

Three of Japan's four largest brokerages and all 10 'second- tier' firms suffered losses in the first half of the fiscal year, reflecting the low level of turnover. Of the 'big four', only the second-largest, Daiwa, avoided an after-tax loss during the April-September period.

View from Tokyo, page 17

Body split

The Body Shop chain won a court judgment banning use of the company's name at six large South-east outlets run by the born-again Christian Pauline Rawle.

Danske buy

Den Danske Bank, Denmark's biggest bank group, bought 32.5 per cent of the shares in the Baltica insurance company.

Fine week

The stock market rose for the fourth day in a row, leaving the FT-SE 100 index 105.8 points higher on the week. Stock market report, page 17

Torday jobs go

An unspecified number of redundancies are being made by Torday & Carlise at its Oldham Signs operation.

Confidence down

Business confidence in the Government's handling of the economy collapsed even before the turmoil over the planned pit closures, with nearly 70 per cent of companies not believing that the Government could improve the economy, according to a national economic survey by the UK 200 Group of practising chartered accountants.

World Markets

New York: Lacking economic news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average drifted until scattered buying pushed it up 6.76 points to 3,207.64 at the close.

Tokyo: Late arbitrage-linked deals pushed prices higher. The Nikkei average gained 104.61 points to close at 17,117.65.

Hong Kong: A technical correction after two weeks of gains left the Hang Seng index 66.58 points lower at 6,262.54.

Sydney: Trade was boosted by continued heavy trading in Fosters rights. The All Ordinaries index added 7.3 to 1,455.5.

Frankfurt: Optimism over lower interest rates helped the DAX index to 1,526.82, a gain of 16.71 and near the day's high.

Paris: The CAC-40 index put on 35.67 points to 1,766.41.

Milan: Hopes of an imminent cut in interest rates lifted prices across the board. The MIB rose 1.11 per cent to 822, leaving it unchanged over the week.

Madrid: Shares moved higher, with the general index finishing 1.13 points firmer at 201.18.

London: Report, page 17.