The London market remained in the doldrums yesterday as mixed economic data from across the Pond did little for hopes that the Federal Reserve will start printing dollars again in the coming weeks.
The FTSE 100 Index sank to its third day of losses in a row, down 24.1 points or 0.4 per cent at 5,719.5.
Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG Index, said: “US consumer spending came in as expected while jobless claims were unchanged at 374,000, perhaps the worst result, since it neither indicates an improving economy or boosts the case for more Fed stimulus.”
Once again mining stocks led the falls amid fears that global demand for raw materials is slowing. Kazakhmys was the worst hit after being downgraded by Jefferies from “buy” to “hold”. Its shares lost 5 per cent or 30.5p at 586.5p, with rival Antofagasta down 29p at 1,094p.
Food retailers had a better session, thanks to results from French peer Carrefour, which posted first-half profits ahead of expectations. Morrisons and Tesco lead the way, up 4.2p and 2.3p respectively at 281p and 339.6p.
In corporate results, insurer Admiral saw shares slide despite reporting 7 per cent growth in half-year profits. The stock was 34p lower at 1,162p as brokers warned the figures reflected past premium growth and it would be a downhill ride from here on.
Results from recruitment firm Hays were also poorly received, with the FTSE 250 company’s warning about increasingly difficult markets offsetting an 11 per cent rise in full-year profits. Shares slid 6.8p to 69.9p as the company reported a £6.5m loss in the UK and Ireland and said conditions in some countries were “very difficult”.
NEW YORK: Wall Street fell last night after several days of muted trading as investors took a defensive posture before Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s much-awaited speech on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 106.54 points, or 0.81 per cent, at 13,000.94 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ended down 10.94 points, or 0.78 per cent, at 1,399.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended down 32.47 points, or 1.05 per cent at 3,048.71.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west