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Global Markets and Economic Update

August 18, 1994

MEXICAN STOCKS

* The market rallied to six-month highs Wednesday before sellers entered in force, taking profits ahead of Sunday's presidential election. The Bolsa index, which hit 2,732.45 at midday, closed with a gain of 5.05 points at 2,699.65.

* Stocks had surged Tuesday after the government reported that real gross domestic product rose 2.2% in the first half of the year, better than expected. On Wednesday, the market was buoyed by a decline in the 28-day treasury bill rate, to 13.4% from 15.2% last week. But some traders worry that a ruling party (PRI) presidential victory will lead to heavy profit taking next week.

Source: Times research

SPOTLIGHT: BELGIUM

With close ties to Germany, Belgium is among a group of Western European nations that have been severely hurt by Germany's economic woes of the past few years. Germany is the destination for about a quarter of Belgium's exports, followed by France, at about a fifth.

Sources: Bank of America; World Information Services

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