Security giant G4S was one of the heaviest fallers in the top flight yesterday as a failure to win prison contracts was widely interpreted as a snub from the UK government.
The company failed in bids to run six prisons, including one it has managed since 1992. The stock was 3 per cent lower at 259.2p, with traders speculating that the firm was being punished for embarrassing the government when it failed to provide enough security staff for the London Olympics.
The wider market failed to hold on to early gains, with the FTSE 100 Index closing 15.6 points lower at 5,776.1.
Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads, said: “Risk assets were out of favour following a successful Spanish bond auction which made the likelihood of any bailout for the country in the near term even slimmer.”
Reports that Diageo would announce a deal to buy a stake in Whyte & Mackay-owner United Spirits from Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya as soon as today failed to excite investors. Shares in Scotland’s largest whisky distiller, which has been in talks with Mallya for months, were down 2.5p at 1,789p.
United Utilities was lower after broker Nomura downgraded it from “buy” to “neutral”, saying a possible takeover of the firm was now fully priced in. Its shares slipped 1p to 659p.
Hospital billing software company Craneware saw its shares rise after chief executive Keith Neilson told the Edinburgh-based firm’s annual meeting that events in the US were good for business.
“Fiscal and regulatory pressures on US hospitals continue to drive interest in our suite of software solutions,” he said.
The shares were up 8 per cent at 459.9p.
NEW YORK: US shares fell last night and the market could be in line for more weakness as worries about Washington’s ability to find a solution to the “fiscal cliff” dominate investor thinking in coming weeks.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 121.41 points, or 0.94 per cent, to end at 12,811.32 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 17.02 points, or 1.22 per cent, at 1,377.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 41.70 points, or 1.42 per cent, to close at 2,895.58.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east