Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online

Factory production in the US accelerated in April, providing further evidence that the economy will grow modestly in the second quarter. Manufacturing production rose by 0.4 per cent in April, up from a 0.1 per cent rise in March.


The Telegraph, publisher of the Daily Telegraph, reported a surge in pre-tax profits from pounds 9.5m to pounds 19.1m in the three months to 31 March. The figure was boosted by a pounds 6.5m profit on the sale of its 13 per cent stake in Trinity International, the regional newspapers group.


Bredero Properties, the debt-laden group 49.5 per cent owned by Slough Estates, has called an extraordinary meeting because its net assets are less than half its share capital.


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A record pounds 52m premium bonds were sold last month. Net investment in all National Savings products was pounds 87m which, with accrued interest, meant a contribution to government funding of pounds 249m.


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The privately controlled North British Distillery is in talks that may lead to a bid being made for the company, which made nearly pounds 10m before tax in 1992 from producing grain whisky.


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Reuters Holdings, the news organisation, has bought Effix Holdings, a French software firm, for FFr58.8m.


NEW YORK: Traders sold off banking and financial stocks because of inflation fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 4.98 points at 3,443.01.

TOKYO: In subdued technical trading the Nikkei average retreated 58.63 points to 20,474.15.

HONG KONG: Profit-taking after recent heavy gains left the Hang Seng 103.47 down at 7,005.29.

SYDNEY: A late rally in the futures market helped the All Ordinaries index to 1,698.5, a 4.1-point gain.

BOMBAY: Forecasts that the monsoon starting next month would be normal pushed shares higher. The index added 70 points to 2,356.52.

JOHANNESBURG: Gold shares continued their rally, leaving the overall index with a 16-point advance.

FRANKFURT: Amid fading hopes of a large cut in interest rates the DAX index lost 5.28 points to 1,634.51.

PARIS: The past two days' gains were wiped out as futures-led selling sent the CAC-40 index down 28.19 points to 1,851.74.

MILAN: Prices ended the monthly trading cycle slightly easier. The MIB fell 0.34 per cent to 1,189.

LONDON: Report, page 21.