News Corp., Rupert Murdoch's global media company, is seeking a $600 million bridge loan to help alleviate a short-term liquidity problem caused by tough market conditions and a retreat in some commercial paper financing, London bankers reported.

The dollar fell across the board in New York trading as a dollar-bearish currency market reacted to a Federal Reserve easing of interest rates, a larger-than-expected trade deficit and other economic news.

General Dynamics's electronics division plans to cut 120 machinists, or 15 percent of its union-represented work force, in January, labor officials said.

Mortgage rates were mixed this week. Fixed-rate mortgages averaged 10.02 percent, down from 10.09 percent last week, while one-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged an initial rate of 8.11 percent, up from 8.09 percent last week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is lowering its maximum interest rate for federally backed VA home mortgages by half a percentage point to 9.5 percent, effective Monday.

Bell Atlantic and US West formed a joint venture with Czechoslovakia to develop cellular telephone and data communications networks in that country.

Italian floor traders struck, halting stock trading at exchanges across the country. The traders were protesting a proposed capital gains tax.

The Manville trust fund will make staggered payments to victims of asbestos diseases based on severity of illness under a tentative settlement of tens of thousands of claims nationwide, lawyers said.

Apollo Investment Fund, a Cayman Islands investment concern led by former Drexel Burnham Lambert investment banker Leon Black, said it was seeking federal regulators' permission to acquire up to 15 percent of the stock of Fruit of the Loom.

GTE plans to consolidate its mobile and cellular telephone business in Atlanta when its merger with Contel Corp. is completed next year. The companies also considered GTE's current headquarters of Houston before selecting Contel Cellular's home base of Atlanta.

Hewlett-Packard reported an 18 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings.

Chase Manhattan said in an SEC filing that it expects real estate loan charge-offs for the fourth quarter to exceed the $61 million taken in during the third quarter.

Raytheon received $643.4 million in defense contracts for Army Patriot missiles and Air Force approach radars.