Markets: Flagging fund sends Man into reverse

HEDGE fund operator Man Group was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index yesterday, a day after reporting that the value of the assets in its flagship AHL diversified fund had fallen.

Man dropped 7.4 per cent or 7.9p to 99.6p, blaming the growing concerns about the likelihood of Spain seeking a bail-out for the fall in the AHL fund.

The wider financial sector was also out of favour with investors amid concerns about the strength of the global recovery.

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Lloyds Banking Group fell 3.2 per cent or 0.98p to 29.97p, while Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 3.1 per cent or 0.77p to 24.43p, despite a positive note from analysts at Investec entitled “buried treasure”.

The wider Footsie closed down 21.66 points or 0.4 per cent at 5,745.29 as investors booked profits following Tuesday’s triple-digit surge.

Many traders remained on the sidelines though as they awaited today’s government bond auction by Spain. Will Hedden at IG Index, warned: “As has been shown recently, the UK market is not invulnerable to the negative karma that rears up on the continent at a moment’s notice.”

A trading update helped silver miner Fresnillo top the blue-chip risers board, up 3 per cent or 51p to 1,624p, after gold production beat expectations in the first quarter of the year. Others on the front foot included fellow mining stock BHP Billiton, which cheered 16.5p to 1,943p.

Glasgow-based engineering firm Weir Group joined in the surge alongside its mining sector clients, up 41p at 1,744p.

Whiteboard maker Promethean World was the biggest faller overall on the stock market – plunging 21.5 per cent or 15.75p to 57.5p – after the decline in sales of its interactive devices in the United States was worst than expected by the City.

NEW YORK: Wall Street fell last night, a day after US markets’ largest gains in a month, as uninspiring earnings from tech bellwethers IBM and Intel gave investors a reason to take profits.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 82.79 points, or 0.63 per cent, to end at 13,032.75 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 5.64points, or 0.41 per cent, to finish the day at 1,385.14. The Nasdaq Composite lost 11.37 points, or 0.37 per cent, to close at 3,031.45.