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News Briefs

Dole to Take First Step in Bid For N.C. Senate Seat


Elizabeth Dole, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, will take the first formal step toward a bid for the Senate from North Carolina Tuesday with the establishment of a campaign committee that will allow her to begin to raise funds and put together a staff.

“I’m going to be raising money, traveling the state, taking the first steps, and then make a formal announcement of candidacy later in the fall,” Dole said in a brief telephone interview Monday.

Dole will be seeking the seat held by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., who has served in the Senate since 1973, and she enjoys the strong support of the Republican establishment in Washington. But Dole will face a potentially tough primary contest for the GOP nomination against former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, who has announced his candidacy.

Another potential candidate, former Sen. Lauch Faircloth, who lost his re-election bid in 1998, said over the weekend that he had decided not to enter the GOP primary. Republican Rep. Richard Burr also has been mulling a candidacy and has indicated he will decide this week.

European Markets Take a Beating


European stocks Monday flirted with multiyear lows and fell through psychological safety nets, intensifying the gloom analysts insist is out of proportion with a modestly promising economic outlook.

Britain's Financial Times 100 index briefly fell below 5,000 for the first time in three years. Germany's Deutsche Telekom, widely held and long considered a rock-solid “widows’ and orphans’ stock,” plunged below its initial public offering price for the first time in five years. From the Stockholm, Sweden, exchange's loss of more than 30 percent of its value this year to Milan, Italy's lowest close in two years, the Continent’s markets have taken a beating, many even worse than Wall Street's.

Nor was the carnage limited to Europe. Markets from Japan to Brazil flirted with lows as the increased interdependency of financial centers pushed prices down worldwide.

As the world economy continues to ebb, stockholders everywhere face the danger of being left high and dry. Monday’s gyrations show how much of a burden the U.S. economy carries. Wall Street opened sharply off but came back to close just slightly down.

Wall Street Rout Ripples

Across Asia With Dips for All


Asian stock markets fell across the board Monday following the rout seen late last week in New York, led by a 3.1 percent decline in Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average. The Nikkei closed at 10,086.87 points, down 321.10, setting a new 17-year low.

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore fell 1.2 percent, South Korea 0.8 percent, Taiwan 0.3 percent and Hong Kong 0.2 percent. Several Asian markets have lost as much as 30 percent of their value in dollar terms this year.

“We’re looking at an ugly dynamic where large drops in the stock market undercut consumer sentiment,” said Robert Subbaraman, Asia analyst with Lehman Bros. Japan. “It’s a vicious cycle, as the stock market hurts the economy and the economy hurts the stock market.”

The Japanese market fell hardest among its counterparts Monday with all sectors, including such companies as Sony Corp. and Kawasaki Steel, losing ground. The Nikkei has declined more than 25 percent year to date and nearly 75 percent since its peak in late 1989.