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Investment analysis

Equity markets around the world put in another impressive performance, with inv-estors cheered by the Federal Reserve&#39s decision to cut interest rates for the ninth time this year as well as more encouraging news from the technology sector and reports of additional tax cuts in the US.

Interest rates in the US have now fallen from 6.5 per cent at the start of the year to 2.5 per cent today, their lowest level since 1962.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Bank of England trimmed a further 25 basis points off the base rate, the sixth cut this year, leaving interest rates at their lowest level since 1964.

Technology stocks were given a much needed boost following comments from Cisco and Dell that they are set to meet their latest earnings targets while shares in Sun Microsytems also rallied following an announcement that it is to cut 4,000 jobs.

The news helped the Nasdaq to a gain of over 8 per cent while, in the UK, the Techmark 100 jumped by 6 per cent.

The US market was also given a boost on Friday following George Bush&#39s proposal for a further $60bn in tax cuts to support the country&#39s ailing economy.

In the UK, the gains were fairly broadly based, helping the FTSE 100 to regain all its losses following the terrorist attacks on September 11, while across Europe, stocks also put in a solid performance alth-ough a profits warning from Fiat had a negative impact on the market in Italy.

In the Far East, both the Nikkei 225 in Japan and Hong Kong&#39s Hang Seng index bounced back through the 10,000 level.


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