News In Brief

Almost without exception, stock markets across Asia rebounded quickly yesterday from their precipitous declines following last week's plunges in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq on Wall Street. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index, which experienced its fifth-worst one-day drop, was off only by 0.21 percent at the close of Tuesday's trading. Bombay's key index fell 2.7 percent. But the main stock indices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Manila, Taiwan, and Australia all closed up at least 0.40.

US stock markets, meanwhile, bounced back strongly Monday. The Dow climbed 276.74 points to close at 10582.51, and the Nasdaq surged 217.87 points - its biggest single-day point gain to date - to finish at 3539.16. But analysts warned it was too soon to tell if Wall Street truly was recovering from last week's plunge.

In a sign that rising mortgage rates are cutting into demand, housing construction plummeted 11.2 percent last month, its biggest drop in six years. The Commerce Department reported that builders began work on new homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.60 million in March. Housing starts took the biggest dive in the Midwest, falling 31.9 percent.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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