Dollar drops against yenThe dollar plunged yesterday to a...

BUSINESS DIGEST

June 30, 1994

Dollar drops against yen

The dollar plunged yesterday to a postwar low of less than 99 yen but advanced against other major currencies, in contrast to the broad-based sell-offs of the past few weeks.

A change of government in Tokyo appeared to prompt the dollar's drop, but analysts said the market was looking for any excuse to push the dollar lower against the yen, convinced that Washington lacks the will and ability to support the currency.

The dollar was quoted in late New York trading at 98.70 yen, down from 99.95 late Tuesday. This morning in Japan, the dollar slipped to 98.70 yen before the Bank of Japan stepped in to start buying dollars at 98.80.

RTC U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said the political turmoil in Japan was making it unlikely that U.S. negotiators would achieve any immediate breakthroughs in talks to reduce Japan's huge trade surplus with America.

Westinghouse gets radar pact

Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s Electronic Systems Group, based in Linthicum, has been awarded a $115 million contract to produce fire control radar systems.

The local division will produce 93 F-15 fire control radar systems applicable to Lockheed Corp.'s F-16 aircraft.

Twelve of those systems are for the Air Force, and the rest will be sold to South Korea, Turkey and Greece.

GDP rose 3.4% in 1st quarter

Led by surprisingly strong consumer spending, the economy grew during the harsh winter of 1994 at a healthy pace about half that of the booming expansion that closed out last year.

Analysts said the solid but unspectacular growth probably carried over to the current quarter before higher interest rates fully take hold to force a slowdown.

The Commerce Department said yesterday that the gross domestic product increased at a 3.4 percent annual rate in the first three months of this year -- 0.4 percentage point higher than the government's estimate a month ago.

Vitalink profits up 22.1%

Vitalink Pharmacy Services Inc. said yesterday that net earnings rose 22.1 percent during the fourth quarter and 25.3 percent for the fiscal year that ended May 31.

The Naperville, Ill-based company, which is 82 percent-owned by Manor Care Inc. of Silver Spring, said it earned $2.50 million, or 18 cents a share, in the fourth quarter and $9.20 million, or 66 cents a share, for the year. Revenue rose 29.7 percent for the quarter and 49.9 percent for the year, to $26.46 million and $98.57 million, respectively. Vitalink shares closed at $9.50 yesterday, up $1.

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