News In Brief

Some of the steepest declines in history were posted on Asian stock markets as they ended their first trading since last Friday's plunge on Wall Street. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index fell 6.9 percent, its fifth-greatest drop. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index in Seoul lost 11.6 percent, its worst one-day slide. Hong Kong's Hang Seng faded 8.5 percent, its second-worst. Singapore's Straits Times Index dropped 8.7 percent; Australia's one-day loss - 5.7 percent - was the biggest since mid-1997. (Story, page 1.)

Early losses on European markets were being offset by later rallies, as senior finance officials urged against panic selling. London's FTSE index loss was a less-than-expected 3.5 percent as the Monitor went to press; Frankfurt's DAX and the CAC 40 in Paris both were down 2.9 percent. Analysts said European investors would be keeping one eye on the opening on Wall Street, where prospects for Monday's trading were uncertain, although generally believed unlikely to duplicate the huge Dow Jones and Nasdaq drops of Friday.

T-Online, the eagerly awaited initial public offering that would have dominated financial news in Europe if not for the plunging prices elsewhere, appeared on course to raise about $2.6 billion for its parent, Deutsche Telekom AG. The German Internet provider opened trading at $26 a share but had been bid up to $31.68 by afternoon. A week ago, T-Online's opening price was expected to be $38.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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