The London market gave back some of its recent gains as exuberance over Vodafone’s mega-sale subsided.
After surging in the run up to the $130 billion (£84bn) sale of its US joint venture, the telecoms giant was the biggest blue-chip faller yesterday as investors banked their profits.
Brewin Dolphin analyst Nik Stanojevic said the deal left investors exposed to buyer Verizon until they get the chance to cash in a special dividend paid partly in shares next year.
He added: “We believe that most of the immediate benefit of the transaction is priced in and remain comfortable with our ‘hold’ rating.”
Vodafone was down 5 per cent or 10.7p at 202.5p. The FTSE 100 also retreated, gradually losing ground after a positive start. It closed 37.78 points or 0.6 per cent lower at 6,468.41, having suffered jitters when reports of missiles being fired in the Mediterranean brought back concerns over war in the Middle East.
The big property firms also weighed on the index after a widespread sector downgrade by broker Deutsche Bank. It said the shares were highly sensitive to liquidity and therefore in danger from the impending tapering of the US quantitative easing programme.
Land Securities was down 3 per cent at 881p, while British Land slipped 5.6 per cent at 552.5p.
In corporate updates, shares in pub companies saw a mixed performance despite more signs that the sector benefited from strong trading this summer. Punch Taverns was 0.5p higher at 12.75p after it reported an improving picture, with average net income returning to growth across its 4,000-strong estate.
But rival Greene King faded 5.5p to 843p despite saying sales across its core retail estate rose 4.6 per cent in the 18 weeks to September.