A WAVE of optimism swept European markets yesterday amid hopes of a Spanish banking bailout, though UK equities failed to join in the celebrations.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 2.02 points at 5,852.62, taking it to a 1.1 per cent weekly loss after two consecutive weeks of gains. That was in marked contrast to yesterday’s rises of 2.6 per cent, 0.8 per cent and 0.6 per cent for Spain’s Ibex, Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac-40, respectively.
A so-called “quadruple witching” day hit trading on the Footsie, with early session gains of more than 30 points wiped out as futures and options expired at the same time – something that only occurs four times a year.
Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “The FTSE has struggled in stark contrast to its European counterparts which have enjoyed a pretty good day.
“Speculation that EU officials are working on some form of reform package, as well as a rescue package, which could be unveiled as early next week, has helped buoy European markets.”
Crude oil gains helped nudge some commodity-based stocks in the right direction, with Vedanta Resources up 3 per cent, or 32p, at 1,086p, while Evraz was 11.1p higher at 271.9p.
Banking stocks also fared well, with Lloyds Banking Group up 0.9p to 40.2p, Royal Bank of Scotland ahead 7.3p to 275.8p and Barclays 1.7p stronger at 223.8p.
NEW YORK: US stocks closed flat, erasing earlier gains that came on hopes that Spain would seek a bailout.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 17.31 points, or 0.13 per cent, to end at 13,579.62. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 0.11 point, or 0.01 per cent, to 1,460.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4 points, or 0.13 per cent, to 3,179.96.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West