Nasdaq soars past 3,000 level

THE NASDAQ composite index soared through the 3,000 mark yesterday, as the market celebrated the revival in strength of the computer and chip sector. In early afternoon trading the index stood up 43.46 points at 3,011.11, after hitting 3,014.84 in the morning.

The all-time high for the index is also a mark of the increasing technological fixation of US financial markets, symbolised belatedly by the introduction of two Nasdaq stocks (Microsoft and Intel) to the Dow Jones Industrial index this week. The weakness in the chip sector, caused partly by the lingering effects of the Taiwan earthquake, is dissipating and, despite some disappointing quarterly results, the sector is experiencing a recovery.

US financial markets staged an across the board rally, spurred by retreating concerns about interest rates. There is still concern that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it meets in two weeks time.