Fears over inflation hit shares


BLUE-chip stocks tumbled in New York yesterday as rising commodities prices fanned fears of inflation.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 74.43 points to close at 5,485.98, following a very sharp fall in the final 45 minutes of trading.

The inflation jitters were particularly prominent ahead of today's scheduled release of the March, producer price index and Friday's release of the consumer price index for March.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by nearly 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,598 down, 851 up and 680 unchanged.

Big Board volume totalled 473.75 million shares, compared with 421.19 million in the previous session.

The NYSE's composite index fell 4.20 to 340.93. The Standard, and Poor's 500 stock index fell 8.69 to 633.50.

At the American Stock Exchange, the market value index fell 2.75 to 569.96.