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The federal reserve did not raise US interest rates, but changed its policy directive from neutral to a tilt toward higher rates in the future. Some private economists said they expect not just one but two more rate increases in coming months as the central bank tries to slow down the rate of economic growth.

Negotiations are at an "advanced stage" for a $4 billion-plus takeover of a leading US asset-management company by Allianz AG, Europe's largest insurance group, the latter acknowledged. The carrier and Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pimco Advisors Holdings confirmed in July that they were discussing such a move, but Allianz later said it was in exploratory talks with other American target companies as well. Pimco, which specializes in bond funds, has about $250 billion under management.

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Orders to US factories for manufactured goods posted a bigger-than-expected increase in August, led by stronger demand for airplanes, other transportation products, and electronic equipment, the Commerce Department reported. Factory orders rose 1.3 percent in August, following a 2.5 percent gain in July.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society