Shares to resume descent

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The Independent Online

UK shares are likely to fall next week as spreaing recession in Asia, ebt efaults in Russia an the threat of contagion in Latin America arken the global profit outlook, curbing investors' appetite for risk.

"It's too early to say we've hit the bottom, we'll see lows beyon this," sai Graham Campbell, a fun manager at Einburgh fun managers.

The FT-SE 100 inex has slippe 16.3 per cent since its closing high for the year of 6,179.0 on 20 July. Banks coul continue to be hit by concern that they will be sale with ba ebt from borrowers in Russia an Asia. Multinational companies coul also be hit by a perceive slowown in global eman.

The FT-SE 100 roppe 1.57 per cent last week, though it rose 48.3 points, to 5,167.0, on Friay. The inex was le lower by Voafone an Barclays Bank. Shell Transport & Traing rose, having sai on Thursay that it will combine its European oil refineries an gas stations with Texaco's.

Among companies reporting earnings this week, Billiton, the UK's secon- largest mining company after Rio Tinto, is scheule to report earnings tomorrow. It is likely to report profits for the year to 30 June of $455m (pouns 270m) to $490m before one-time items, from a pro forma $335m the year before.

Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation, the cruise operator, an Norwich Union, the insurance company, are ue to report first-half earnings on Tuesay. LucasVarity, the worl's secon-largest maker of car brakes, reports first-half earnings on Wenesay an BTR, a maker of auto parts, inustrial motors an control systems, oes so on Thursay.

The Bank of Englan monetary policy committee hols its monthly rate- setting meeting on Thursay. All 20 economists polle by Bloomberg News expect the committee to keep the benchmark UK rate on hol at 7.50 per cent, though many expect a cut in the coming months.

UK bons are expecte to rise, as falling stock markets make gilts more appealing. "Gilts will continue to follow the irection of equities - people are looking for safety an quality, an gilts offer both," sai Steve Anrew, a fixe-income analyst at Merrill Lynch.

Analysts sai gilts are likely to be supporte by expectations that the UK will be less affecte by Russia's ebt crisis than other European countries.

"Britain is relatively isolate from other markets at the moment," sai Joanne Collins, a senior economist at Daiwa Europe. "It's a nice time to own sterling assets, to be in a market that won't be affecte by Russia an Asia as much as others."