Business and City in Brief

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The Independent Online
US deficit at record dollars 290bn

The US government's spending deficit swelled to a record dollars 290.2bn in the fiscal year to 30 September, compared with dollars 269.5bn in 1991, the Treasury Department said.

And in September, orders for durable goods fell 0.4 per cent to dollars 118.9bn - the third decline in three months, the Commerce Department said. Personal income jumped 0.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of dollars 5,008bn.

Insider changes

Further changes are possible to a controversial proposed law against insider dealing, Anthony Nelson, economic secretary to the Treasury, said. He said the Bill, published last Friday, could still be changed if bankers or traders came forward with legitimate worries.

Borden closures

Borden, the US food and packaging group, plans to close several packaging plants in Europe, potentially in Britain, as part of a dollars 642m cost-cutting programme.

Crumbling bricks

Output of bricks in the UK fell 1 per cent to 779 million, seasonally adjusted, in the third quarter from a year ago, but was up 5 per cent from the second quarter, provisional government figures showed.

Cut agreed

Channel 4 agreed in court to delete part of a forthcoming documentary containing extracts from an unpublished Department of Trade and Industry report on the 1986 Guinness affair.

Richfield listing

Atlantic Richfield, the international energy company based in Los Angeles, is to apply for a listing on the London Stock Exchange. Trading is expected to start on 2 November.

OFT crackdown

The Office of Fair Trading has acted to stamp out inertia selling of credit insurance, where customers are automatically sold insurance with loans unless they tick a box saying they do not want it.

Porsche in red

Porsche, the German luxury car maker, suffered its first loss in the year to 31 July, going DM65.8m ( pounds 27m), compared with a profit of DM17.1m the previous year.

Society upheaval

Nationwide Building Society faces further management upheaval with the departure of Daniel Hodson, deputy chief executive and group finance director, who is to become chief executive of the London Financial Futures Exchange.

WORLD MARKETS

NEW YORK: Trading was weak until late bargain-hunting pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 15.67 points to 3,251.40 at the close.

TOKYO: With most investors sidelined, the Nikkei average slipped 116.85 to 17,068.41.

HONG KONG: Trading was subdued after two days of volatile activity. The Hang Seng index fell 91.03 points to 6,126.98.

SYDNEY: Concern about the falling Australian dollar triggered a fall of 18.2 points to 1,418.2 on the All Ordinaries index.

JOHANNESBURG: Mild afternoon buying interest lifted the overall index four points to 3,010.

FRANKFURT: Fading hopes of an interest cut today were reflected in a 23.47-point fall by the DAX index to 1,510.3.

PARIS: Off more than 2 per cent at one stage, the CAC-40 index finished showing a 1.39 per cent loss at 1,749.86 and is now below its 1 January level.

MILAN: Despite coming off its early high, the MIB recorded a healthy 17-point gain to 844.

LONDON: Report, page 31.

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