STOCK MARKETS - THE WEEK REVIEWED

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The Independent Online
US stocks fell for the final three days of the week on signs of faster inflation, which threatens companies' profit growth. The Dow Jones fell 134.38 points on the week, down 2.1 per cent. It is now 9.8 per cent below its all-time high set on 11 March. Another 15 points and the Dow would have its first 10 per cent slide since 1990. Rate-sensitive stocks such as banks and finance companies have taken the worst of the punishment.

In London, the FT-SE 100 rose 0.8 per cent on the week but most of gains made earlier in the week were wiped out in the last two days as stocks followed the US down. The index fell more than 1 per cent on Friday alone. Rate-sensitive shares, such as Lloyds TSB, and companies with a large shareholder base in the US, such as BP, registered the biggest losses. Zeneca bucked the trend after it won a victory in a patent battle and on renewed takeover talk.

In Germany the DAX index rose 2.93 per cent. Volkswagen was the star of the week, rising nearly 21 per cent after first-quarter deliveries rose 9.5 per cent and 1996 earnings per share jumped 150 per cent.

In France, the CAC 40 index rose 2.25 per cent on the week, but gains were trimmed at the end of the week by concerns about US rates. Cosmetics maker L'Oreal led gains, benefiting from recommendation s for its drugs subsidiary Synthelabo. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg

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