STOCK MARKETS - THE WEEK REVIEWED

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The Independent Online
In London, the FT-SE 100 Index rose 1.37 per cent on the week to 4369.7. Banks led gains at the beginning of the week when shares in the Alliance and Leicester began trading at a price well above expectations. Oil stocks also gained on optimism about first quarter earnings. Concern about the general election limited activity. On Friday the market was overshadowed by declines on Wall Street and an unexpectedly strong first- quarter GDP report which triggered fears of an interest rate rise.

US stocks fell for the final three days of the week on renewed concerns that interest rates could be raised next month for the second time this year. Tobacco shares were weak on Friday after a federal judge ruled that the Food and Drug Administration has the power to regulate tobacco. This could weaken the tobacco companies bargaining position in settlement negotiations. IBM gained more than 9 per cent after reported strong earnings showing the benefits of the move into services and smaller computers.

In Germany, the DAX index rose 29.7 points, or 0.9 per cent to 3374.10. The market tracked Wall Street most of the week. Stocks fell on Friday on concern ahead of the G7 meeting this weekend that the dollar's gains in the first four months of this year have stalled. Export companies benefit from mark weakness against the dollar. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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