Dollar weakness dents rebound


Shares in Frankfurt pulled back 2.9 per cent as selling pressure built in response to a weak dollar. The Xetra DAX index, which traded in a near 300-point span, closed towards the lower end of the range, down 121.23 at 4,064.16.

BMW lost 6.3 per cent after the motor manufacturer announced a recall of 2.4 million cars worldwide to replace radiator caps, correcting potential cooling system problems. The shares down on the day at 1,038 deutschmarks.

Construction group Hochtief soared 11.6 per cent after it took a further step towards winning a contract to build and operate Berlin's new airport at Schonefeld. By the close, the shares were DM2.50 higher at DM49.

Banks were out of favour. Commerzbank fell DM2.69 to DM42.81 and HypoVereinsbank was DM7.50 lower at DM118.30, Paris ended a volatile session with the CAC-40 index 122 points below its best of the day as worries about a weakening dollar sparked selling. The benchmark closed off 38.79 at 3,087.69.

Hotels leader Accor fell steeply on disappointment with first-half results. Although most brokers were reserving judgment on the figures, Accor shares came off 61 francs or 5.8 per cent at Ffr999.

The dull dollar and softer global oil prices sent Total and Elf Aqui- taine lower. The former shed Ffr41 at Ffr660 and Elf came off Ffr36 at Ffr641.

Amsterdam ended 21.07 lower at 857.11, mostly on dollar weakness but with a certain amount of options-driven selling also undermining sentiment.

Heineken was the day's leading loser, sliding 6.20 guilders or 7.6 per cent to Fl 75.80. Zurich turned back after Tuesday's 7.8 per cent rise, but not without a fight. The SMI index began the day with further gains, peaking at 5,734.6 before retreating to close 61.6 lower at 5,462.1.