City unimpressed by QE and Greece

THE Bank of England’s £50 billion boost to the economy and long-awaited news of progress in Greek debt negotiations failed to lift the Footsie more than a few points yesterday.

David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index, said the latest bout of money-printing had been so widely anticipated that it was priced into shares, while questions still hung over promised budget cuts by the Greek government.

He said: “It seemed that markets had finally been given what they’ve been waiting for after an interminable wait. However, it’s been so long a wait that the reaction was fairly muted.”

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The FTSE 100 Index added 19.54 points to close at 5,895.47, after falling back from attempts to breach 5,900.

Natural gas company BG Group led the way following strong earnings and an upbeat outlook. Shares gained 45.5p at 1,491.5p, supported by a “buy” recommendation from Deutsche Bank.

Glasgow pumps and valves manufacturer Weir Group also enjoyed strong broker endorsement as Galvan said the company’s recent acquisitions should underpin its prospects for 2012. Shares rose 13p to 1,997p, with Galvan’s price target at 2,200p.

Outside of the top flight, Enterprise Inns was the biggest riser after a positive update on the last four months’ of trading. Britain’s largest pub owner said trading trends were improving, with like-for-like income per pub up 1 per cent across the bulk of its estate.

Shares gained 22 per cent to 51.5p as the group also revealed that property sales should bring in between £150 million and £200m for the current financial year. The funds ease fears that the company faces a difficult refinancing of its £465m debt next year.

New York: Wall Street closed out a third day of modest gains last night after Greece reached a deal to secure a financial bail-out, but investors were cautious after weeks of gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 8.25 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 12,892.20 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed up 2.07 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 1,352.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.41 points, or 0.39 per cent, at 2,927.27 by the close.

FTSE 100 CLOSE: 5895.47 +19.54