Global Markets Recover From Lows

Friday, October 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. markets moved higher Friday, shaking off worries about escalating tensions in the Middle East, high oil prices and a new economic report indicating that wholesale prices are rising faster than expected.

Elsewhere, European markets were mixed, while Asian markets closed mostly lower.

In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 94.06 points to 10,128.66. The day before, the Dow fell nearly 380 points, its fifth-biggest point loss ever, though the 3.6 percent decline did not even approach the top 25 percentage losses.

Broader indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 19 points to 1,348.78. The Nasdaq composite index was up 90.92 points at 3,147.05, after closing at its lowest level of the year Thursday.

The move higher came even as the Labor Department reported that the producer price index shot up 0.9 percent in September, the sharpest increase in seven months, led by big jumps in the costs of gasoline and heating oil. While U.S. markets initially moved lower on the news, they quickly headed into positive territory as investors began bargain-hunting.

Markets overseas for the most part opened lower following Thursday's developments, which included an apparent terrorist attack on a U.S. warship in Yemen and Israeli combat helicopters rocketing the Gaza Strip residential compound of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in response to the killing of Israeli solders by a Palestinian mob.

London blue chips fell more than 1 percent in early trading, but had clawed back by early afternoon to within 0.2 percent of Thursday's close, trading at 6,120.7. Telecommunications stocks led the London market lower. British Telecom dropped 1.4 percent, Telewest Communications dropped 3 percent and Marconi fell 4.2 percent.

In Germany, the Frankfurt stock exchange opened lower, but the Xetra DAX index was up 1.2 percent in late trading at 6,539.88. In Paris, the CAC index was down 0.1 percent, though it had been down as much as 1.5 percent.

Asian markets bounced back after from earlier lows as well.

In Tokyo, Asia's biggest exchange, the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average closed with a loss of 220.33 points, or 1.4 percent, at 15,330.31. Shortly after the opening, the Nikkei had lost 2.89 percent of its value.

Taiwanese authorities intervened and bought shares to reverse losses of 5.5 percent on the Taipei market. It finished with a gain of 1.2 percent.

But market analysts were still wary.

``The market is still very unstable and a further downfall is expected,'' said Choi Chang-ho, an analyst at Good Morning Securities in Seoul, South Korea, where prices had been down by about 6 percent in early dealings.

They later bounced back to show a loss of about 1.9 percent for the day, largely on news that President Kim Dae-jung had won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished with a loss of 2.6 percent, after rebounding from early losses of 3.9 percent. Singapore shares closed with a loss of 0.3 percent.

The Middle East violence pushed crude oil prices to $36.06 per barrel — almost a 10-year high — on Thursday. That stirred renewed fears of inflation in oil-consuming nations where finance officials have been worried about the high prices for many months.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, crude prices for delivery in November were down 26 cents to $35.80.