%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Venture capital losses are deepening as the high-tech slump drags on, according to a research report released Monday.

Venture capital funds plunged by an average of 27 percent for the year ending June 30, according to the study by Thomson Venture Economics for the National Venture Capital Association. That performance eroded from an average loss of 23.8 percent for the year ending March 31, the study said.

After reveling in triple-digit investment returns during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, venture capitalists have been staggering in the tech meltdown. The industry has suffered losses in seven consecutive quarters.

The gains from the boom years are bolstering venture capitalists' long-term returns, although those have been shrinking rapidly in recent quarters.

As of June 30, the venture capital industry's average three-year return stood at 5.5 percent and the average five-year return was 10.9 percent.


On the Net:


National Venture Capital Association: http://www.nvca.org