Bank of England Cuts Lending Rate

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Bank of England Cuts Lending Rate

LONDON _ The Bank of England is cutting its minimum lending rate by one percentage point to 7 percent, the lowest rate in nearly 15 years, as Britain seeks a way out of recession. Britain's top Treasury official, Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, announced the move Thursday as he unveiled a widely-anticipated plan for stimulating the economy. Sears to Test Using Major Credit Cards

CHICAGO _ Sears, Roebuck and Co. said it will accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards during a test at stores in six markets beginning Sunday. The move Thursday, coming six months after Sears began honoring bank cards for catalog purchases, is another crack in the 106-year-old company's policy of accepting only its own SearsCharge and Discover cards at its struggling retail stores. MasterCard Pursues Telephone Calling Card Business

NEW YORK _ MasterCard International said it's pursuing a move into the telephone calling card business, a venture that would create a partnership between the credit card company and major long distance carriers. Under the plan unveiled Thursday, a MasterCard holder could use a credit card number to bill calls made on major long distance carriers such as American Telephone Telegraph Co., MCI Communications Corp. and U.S. Sprint Corp. Automakers Increase Production Plans

DETROIT _ Automakers were scheduled to produce 267,628 cars and light trucks in the United States and Canada this week, up from last week's 243,933, Ward's Automotive Reports said Thursday. This week's production is higher than the same week a year ago, in which 242,106 cars and light trucks were produced, the trade journal said. U.S. automakers were scheduled to make 128,551 cars this week, compared with 122,581 a week ago and 132,984 in the same week in 1991. Light truck production for the week was scheduled at 97,220, compared with last week's 90,059 and last year's 72,872. Canadian automakers were to build 26,022 cars this week, up from 12,777 a week ago and up from last year's 19,123. …