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Global Markets and Economic Update

International Business

March 16, 1995

MEXICAN STOCKS

* Mexico drove interest rates above 90% Wednesday to help stabilize the peso, but investors abandoned the currency. Stocks were up, but the peso's fall means Mexican stocks declined in dollar terms for the third session in a row.

* The rate hike was the latest step in a series of drastic austerity measures announced last week to pull the country out of its economic crisis.

* Speculation affected the market. The cheaper peso enables investors to sell the American depositary shares of Mexican companies traded in the United States and buy the underlying shares traded in Mexico for less, pocketing the difference.

The Bolsa Index

Wednesday closes: 1,611.73

Source: Bloomberg Business News, Reuters

SPOTLIGHT: CANADA

Canada had the fastest-growing economy of the world's seven largest industrial powers last year. But the country's debt is nearly 100% of its gross domestic product. To contain the expanding national debt and reinforce a weakened currency, the government has called for cuts in subsidies and social programs.

Sources: Bank of America, World Information Services

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