London’s leading shares index lost more than 1 per cent yesterday as co-ordinated protests against austerity measures in Europe rattled investor confidence.
Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: “Against a backdrop of unrest and strikes across Europe, share markets have slipped back as investors once again adopt a safety first approach.”
The FTSE 100 Index closed 64.2 points lower at 5,722 as the Bank of England added to worries by slashing its growth forecast for the UK.
There were some bright spots, with the energy sector leading the way after results from SSE and German utility giant RWE offset a negative forecast the day before from E.ON. RWE said it now expects to “at least match” last year’s pre-tax and operating earnings figures. Centrica shares were 7.5p higher at 318.3p, while SSE edged 17p higher to 1,400p after it reported a 38 per cent increase in half-year profits to £397 million and hiked its divi 5 per cent to 25.2p a share.
Technology stocks managed to find some gains after US giant Cisco beat expectations in results released overnight. ARM Holdings was 3p higher at 723p.
Stocks sensitive to the economic cycle took a beating, with miners dominating the Footsie fallers board. Evraz was down 7 per cent at 217.4p, while Eurasian Natural Resources and Randgold were each about 5 per cent lower at 276.2p and 6,575p respectively.
In a busy session for corporate news, solid results from supermarket Sainsbury’s failed to inspire further share gains. Its shares slipped back 8.4p to 338.8p despite a 5 per cent rise in profits. There were losses for other retailers, including Marks & Spencer down 6.8p to 378.4p, B&Q owner Kingfisher off 5.9p at 283p and Burberry 51p lower to 1,180p.
NEW YORK: US stocks tumbled to their lowest levels since late July last night, driven by uncertainty over US budget negotiations and an escalation of violence in the Middle East.
The Dow Jones industrial average slid 184.92 points, or 1.45 per cent, to end at 12,571.26 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 19.03 points, or 1.38 per cent, to finish at 1,355.49.
The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 37.08 points, or 1.29 per cent, to close at 2,846.81.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West