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US stockpiles French wines

US importers have stockpiled French wine and spirits in case Washington retaliates against the European Community in a farm trade dispute, according to the French wine and spirits export federation.

The federation said importers in the US, the third-largest consumer of French drinks, snapped up enough wine and spirits in the first half of the year to cover almost a whole year's consumption. US purchases of French spirits doubled in the first half of 1992, while wine imports jumped by 24 per cent.

O&Y deadline

Olympia & York Developments Ltd will present its first formal debt restructuring plan by Friday's deadline, but there is little hope creditors will agree to any of the proposals by then, an O&Y lawyer said in Toronto.

Chrysler deal

Chrysler Corp has reached agreement with all 152 banks on a three-year, dollars 6.8bn ( pounds 3.5bn) line of credit extension. The agreement provides for phased reductions of about dollars 2bn over the life of the loan, from the current dollars 6.8bn, and increased borrowing costs and fees.

Acquisitions fall

Spending on UK acquisitions and mergers in the second quarter of 1992 was pounds 1.7bn, down from pounds 2.1bn in the first quarter. Acquisitions in the second quarter totalled 104, down from 115 in the first three months.

US homes

Construction starts on new homes and apartments in the US fell unexpectedly for a second month in a row in July. Starts dropped 2.8 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.12 million units.

Steel output

World crude steel production was 30.3 million tonnes in July, 1.9 per cent down on the same month last year. Japan's output dropped 11.5 per cent to 8.2 million tonnes, while US output rose 5.5 per cent to 7 million.

Czech bar

The European Commission has authorised Germany, France and Italy to curb some steel imports from Czechoslovakia after they complained about a big rise in cheap shipments.

C&G writ

A writ has been served against the Cheltenham & Gloucester Building Society by 27 investors, concerning home income plans they entered into between 1989 and 1991.

Iran settlement

Iran has agreed to pay Sun and Atlantic Richfield dollars 130m compensation for loss of production rights after the 1979 revolution. The agreement must be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

World Markets

New York: In slow trading shares edged higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 4.59 points at 3,329.48.

Frankfurt: Shares more than wiped out two hesitant days of gains with a 1.4 per cent fall. The 30-share DAX index fell 22.20 points to 1,533.22.

Milan: The MIB all-share index was 0.63 per cent lower at 787.

Paris: The blue chip CAC-40 index slipped 20.59 points to 1,736.72.

Tokyo: The Nikkei average closed at a 77-month low, falling 620.14 points to 14,309.41.

Hong Kong: The Hang Seng index ended a four-day losing streak by gaining 7.31 points to close at 5,675.16.

Singapore: The Straits Times index shed 23.47 points to close at 1,310.95, its lowest this year.

Sydney: The plunge in Tokyo took the heat out of a rally ahead of the federal budget. The All Ordinaries index closed 5.9 points up at 1,565.0.

London: Report, page 21.