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Confidence surges after Friday's fall.

Fears that the London stock market would take another hammering yesterday following Friday's pounds 34 billion plunge were confounded as confidence surged back.

Some pundits predicted that this week would see the bell-wether FTSE-100 plunge below 4500 amid a torrent of bad news on the economic and business fronts.

Falling consumer demand in the US; advance signals of a rise in UK interest rates and the aftermath of Andersen's fall from grace were all touted as reasons for another wave of selling when London and Wall Street opened for business yesterday.

In the event the doom-mongers were proved wrong - at least for the time being.

London, buoyed by a solid start in New York, charged ahead and the Footsie built on early gains to finish a healthy 126 points ahead on 4756.8.

England's ever-better prospects in the World Cup are thought to have had a strong influence on market sentiment during the morning and the index was 63.9 points up by lunchtime.

Tom Hougaard, trader at City bookies Financial Spreads, said: 'We're not calling this the end of the downturn but we're hoping we can build on some sort of base. Stocks are so oversold that we're expecting to see two or three day's rally.'

Don't get too optimistic that the worst is over, however. Mr Hougaard warned UK and US markets are likely to fall again.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 18, 2002
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