Big falls among the mining stocks offset positive news from Standard Chartered and insurer Resolution to leave the London market lower tonight.
Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index, said: “Despite the relatively placid look, we’ve had a few decent movers.”
The fallers’ board was made up of miners after Eurasian Natural Resources said its profits had been hit by lower commodity prices. Its shares were down more than 8 per cent at 379.6p as the group slashed its interim dividend. Rivals Rio Tinto and Vedanta Resources both lost more than 4 per cent, at 3,038p and 919.5 respectively, although both went ex-dividend yesterday.
The FTSE 100 Index fell 31.7 points or 0.5 per cent to 5,833, with tobacco companies also dragging on the market after an Australian court upheld a decision that all cigarettes must be sold in bland packaging with graphic health warnings. Imperial Tobacco was 44p lower at 2,489p and British American Tobacco fell 65.5p to 3,380p.
Standard Chartered was the top flight’s biggest riser after its $340 million (£217m) settlement with the New York regulator received a thumbs up from analysts. Shares rose 56.5p to 1,426.5p.
Life insurer Resolution was ahead 6.3p to 226.3p after it unveiled a wide-ranging plan aimed at boosting its flagging share price, abandoning both its unconventional corporate structure and plans it had to split itself in two.
Outside the top flight, FirstGroup lost an initial boost to shares and slumped 6.1 per cent as analysts said it is likely to have overpaid for the West Coast mainline rail franchise, which it won from Virgin Rail. Shares in the Aberdeen-based firm were down 15.8p at 243.2p.
NEW YORK: Wall Street has been little changed for more than a week as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index hovers close to a four-year high. Light trading volumes and a lack of news from Europe have meant few catalysts for traders.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 2.73 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 13,174.87 while the S&P 500 rose 2.06 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 1,405.99 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 13.47 points, or 0.45 per cent, to 3,030.45.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east