Lumber futures hit 8-month highLumber futures prices...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 27, 1993

Lumber futures hit 8-month high

Lumber futures prices vaulted to an eight-month high yesterday on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, reflecting strong demand for tightening supplies. It was the third straight day of limit gains for lumber, which has rebounded nearly 16 percent from a Nov. 19 low of $367.

Orders at some lumber mills are backed up to the end of December due to resurgent demand from wholesalers and distributors after a lull in the middle of the month, said Curt Cunningham, president of Pacific Futures Trading Co. in Seattle.

Bill aims to remove tax exemptions

Rep. Fortney "Pete" Stark, a California Democrat, introduced a bill yesterday before Congress adjourned to remove state and local income tax exemptions enjoyed by three government-sponsored enterprises. The would subject the income of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae) to state and local taxation.

Bond prices rise sharply

Treasury bond prices posted sharp gains yesterday in light trading. The price of the Treasury's main 30-year bond rose 25/32 point, or $7.81 per $1,000 in face value, while its yield fell to 6.24 percent. The market closed at 2 p.m. after taking Thursday off. Wednesday, the bond's yield closed at 6.30

percent. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

U.S. asks Taiwan to drop tariffs

The United States is seeking cuts in tariffs levied by Taiwan on 2,800 products as part of that country's petition to join a world trade agreement, U.S. trade officials said yesterday.

U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said the U.S. request, which covered U.S. products that were the most competitive in Taiwan's market, would help improve U.S. exports to that country.

Through the first eight months of this year, the United States was running a $5.86 billion trade deficit with Taiwan, which has petitioned to join the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Geneva-based organization that governs world trade.

Alltel buys limited partnership

Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel Corp. said yesterday that its Alltel Mobile Communications Inc. had agreed to buy a limited partnership interest in a Texas cellular company from a GTE Corp. subsidiary for about $120 million.

Under the agreement, Alltel Mobile would buy a 10 percent limited partnership interest in Dallas SMSA LP, which operates the wire-lne cellular system in the Dallas and Sherman/Denison, Texas, areas, from GTE Mobilnet Inc.

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