News In Brief

A 5.42 percent drop in the key stock index in Taiwan, one of the few exchanges that are open Saturday, was seen as a harbinger that other world markets are in for a turbulent day today following the week-ending 617-point plunge on Wall Street (Story, page 1.). The slide in Taiwan was led by technology issues, but plastics, textiles, financials, and construction stocks all fell by more than 5 percent as well. Losses also were predicted in New Zealand, the first exchange to open for the new week, Hong Kong, Seoul, India, and Malaysia. In London, newspapers warned of a possible "bloodbath" today, led by selloffs of even such blue-chip giants as Vodafone AirTouch, British Telecom, and BP Amaco. Leading economists in Japan, Germany, and France, however, predicted no major fallout there as a result of Friday's declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq.

The most closely watched stock in today's trading in Europe is expected to be T-Online, the Internet division of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, which is to make its debut as an independent company. Weeks of splashy advertising have heightened interest in the enterprise, which had hoped to raise about $3 billion. But although its 100 million shares already were 20 percent oversubscribed by institutional and private investors, analysts said the beating being absorbed by technology stocks could force Deutsche Telekom to set the offering price too low - perhaps $25 a share - to fulfill expectations.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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