Global Markets and Economic Update

MEXICAN STOCKS

* The Bolsa index dropped below the psychologically important 2,200 level Wednesday, the first time it has done so since NAFTA passed the U.S. Senate in November.

* The market is in part reacting to continuing higher interest rates as the government insists it does not want the peso to be further devalued. The two-year treasury bill rate Wednesday hit 14.36%. At the last auction March 2, it was 11.30%.

* Overall confidence in Mexico and the new PRI presidential candidate, Ernesto Zedillo, is slipping. Analysts are now lowering this year's GNP growth estimates from 3% to between 2% and 2.4%.

Source: D.A. Campbell

SPOTLIGHT: TURKEY

The nation is overhauling its state-dominated economy, although political infighting has slowed privatization. Growth has been fueled by repatriated money--earned by Turkish workers in Europe--that helped finance a modern infrastructure. Growth industries include tourism, which grew to over $4 billion last year.

Sources: Bank of America; World Information Services

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