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Stocks End Lower in Asia, Mixed in Europe; Dollar Gains

September 03, 1996|From Reuters

Asian investors saw only gloom on the horizon Monday after the Dow Jones industrials fell 31.44 points Friday and fears of higher interest rates in the U.S. intensified, dealers said.

Most Asian markets ended the day lower, with Tokyo's Nikkei index barely holding above the key 20,000-point level as trading centered on speculative, incentive-backed shares. The 225-issue Nikkei lost 59.79 points, or 0.3%, to close at 20,107.11. Its September futures shed 20 points to settle at 20,150.

Hong Kong investors were rattled by fears of higher interest rates, but prices rose from their lows by the close as bargain hunters stepped in, analysts said.

The Hang Seng index closed down 52.45 points at 11,106.57, after reaching a session low of 11,046.82.

Oil prices advanced strongly in London after the United Nations put a proposal for oil sales by Iraq on ice. The dollar and petroleum share prices there also rose with news of renewed tension in the Middle East.

In late-afternoon business on London's International Petroleum Exchange, October futures for benchmark Brent crude were more than $1 higher at $21.80 a barrel. The price of jet fuel hit its highest level in five years.

The FTSE-100 ended 16.8 points higher at 3,884.4.

German stocks ended lower as the market failed to find any new impetus, and it showed only limited gains in later electronic trading. In Frankfurt, the 30-share DAX index closed down 10.95 points at 2,532.88, but it recovered a few points in later computerized trading.

The inclination to do business was also lacking in Paris, but the bourse there ended a five-session losing streak to close higher, helped by firmer bonds and bullish oil stocks. The CAC-40 share index closed up 6.37 points at 1,976.98.

Euro Disney shares rallied almost 5% after the company said it was on track to show a profit for a second year.

The dollar rose well above 1.48 German marks in London trading, and it hit six-week highs in London above 109 yen.

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