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It was a fairly dismal end to a fairly dismal week.


FTSE 100

index lost 5% in value in five trading days to close Friday at 6,346.3, a loss of just 2.4 points on the day, but a fall of 312 points on the week.

The Footsie traded Friday between a high of 6,374.7 and a low of 6,287.1 as interest-rate worries and four consecutive declines on the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

left investors with little appetite for opening fresh positions.

Indeed, profit-taking has been the name of the game, especially since the

Group of Seven

meeting this weekend has created an atmosphere of uncertainty, while U.S. stocks have the added burden of a

Federal Reserve

meeting at the start of February, which many expect to result in a rise in U.S. interest rates.

U.K. money-supply and bank-lending data released Friday merely underlined the perception that the

Bank of England

will move soon to raise interest rates. As well as a higher-than-expected increase in


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money supply in December, credit-card loans rose by the largest monthly amount since records began in 1974.

Some concession has to be made for the accommodative stance adopted to ensure adequate levels of liquidity over the uncertainty of the millennium period, but the writing is on the wall.

Despite the gloom on the interest-rate front, some bright spots remained within the banking sector.

National Westminster


rose 66 pence, or 5.9%, to 11.80 pounds on news that should the takeover bid from

Bank of Scotland

succeed, the U.K. insurer


could gain exclusive rights to sell its branded life, pension and retail investment products through NatWest branches. Prudential investors reacted with less enthusiasm, and the insurer fell 4 pence, or 0.4%, to 11.02 pounds.


, a major High Street retailer, rose 9, or 1.7%, to 527 pence despite a denial from the German retailer


that it is about to launch a bid for the company. However, Metro said that it has been approached by unnamed parties with a view to establishing a working relationship, and its shares closed 2.3% higher at 45.50 euros. Earlier in the week, Metro's shares had received a boost from rumors the company was talking to its American nemesis


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Among technology stocks,

ARM Holdings


advanced 305 pence, or 10%, to 33.60 pounds, as investors viewed its recent fall due to competition worries from the U.S.'


as being overdone.

Europe's continental bourses also posted broad losses Friday, led by the slumping tech and telecom sectors. Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

ended nearly 2% lower at 6992.75, and the Paris

CAC 40

finished down 0.50% at 5681.32.

The Dax was hardest hit by the heavy weighting of

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Dynatrace Inc. Report

, which Thursday released preliminary earnings figures for 1999 that were almost half of the year before. Deutsche Telekom shares ended down almost 4% at 66.85 euros.

Despite the losses, some investors remain sanguine about the sector. "Sure, telecoms are getting hit right now, but that they'll bounce back is all but certain," said one Frankfurt-based fund manager, who is long the sector.

Tech shares also had a poor day with software maker


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down almost 1% at 722 euros, and



ended 0.45% lower at 137 euros.