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The Independent Online
US stocks fell on four out of five trading days, losing 1.9 per cent in value as Federal Reserve Chairman signalled a likely rate rise next week to head off inflation pressures. Tobacco shares were particularly hard hit after one of the top five manufacturers acknowledged that cigarettes are addictive and harmful. Philip Morris fell 14 per cent. Health, beverage and other companies least affected by interest rate rise performed the best, including Procter & Gamble, American Home Products and Coca Cola.

In London, the FT-SE 100 fell 3.7 per cent on the week and suffered it worst one-day decline in nearly four months on Thursday. Rate sensitive bank stocks and insurers were worst hit together with shares with substantial US interests such as Glaxo and SmithKline Beecham.

In France, the CAC 40 fell 2.2 per cent on the week, led by interest sensitive banks and insurance companies on worries about higher interest rates. Credit Commercial, CLF-Dexia France, Banque Nationale de Paris and Compagnie Bancaire all shed more than 5 per cent.

In Germany the DAX index fell 1.82 per cent on the week. The biggest loser was chemicals manufacturer Henkel which fell 7.75 per cent after 1996 profits disappointed the market. Copyright: IOS & Bloomberg