Market keeps falling as techs continue to suffer


Another nasty-looking day in London's stock market saw the leaders under renewed and often substantial pressure for the third consecutive session as the hi-tech/telecoms stocks continued to suffer.

The whole market remained uneasy about the heightened prospects of a rise in domestic interest rates after next week's meeting of the Bank of England's rate-setting monetary policy committee. Those heightened prospects increased substantially after more evidence yesterday that the British economy was continuing to gather momentum.

The evidence came with news that British house prices rose 2.6 per cent in December, extending the gains in 1999 to 13 per cent.

Adding to the pressures was news that the Confederation of British Industry's December survey of distributive trades showed high street sales increasing at their fastest monthly rate since April 1997. Worrying for dealers in London was the domestic market's reluctance to follow the improved trend on Wall Street over the past couple of sessions.