WEDNESDAY MARKET CLOSE: Footsie drifts on eve of historic vote

The London market wavered as traders struggled with the uncertainty of Scotland’s independence vote and the latest Fed decision.

The FTSE 100 gave back early gains to close 11.34 points lower at 6,780.9. Picture: Getty
The FTSE 100 gave back early gains to close 11.34 points lower at 6,780.9. Picture: Getty

Brenda Kelly, chief market strategist at IG, said: “Investors wondering why the FTSE is unable to make progress need only look north of the Tweed to see why.

“The Scottish polls are still too close to predict an outcome with any certainty, but while the broad expectation in the Square Mile is that Scotland will vote ‘no’, no one is prepared to risk too much until the result is actually known.”

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With the market closing before the US Federal Reserve’s latest announcement on policy was due, the FTSE 100 gave back early gains to close 11.34 points lower at 6,780.9.

Housebuilders were higher as the latest minutes of the monetary policy committee showed no signs of a change of heart on interest rates. Barratt Developments rose 11.7p to 392p and Persimmon added 2p to 1,352p. Big mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group added 1.3p to 74.8p.

Technology stocks were also higher after chip firm Imagination Technologies, which designs mobile graphics processors, reported encouraging levels of activity. This provided a boost to shares of Apple chip designer Arm Holdings, which climbed 20.5p to 940.5p in the FTSE 100 Index. Imagination itself was up more than 5 per cent at 199.5p.

In other corporate news, Smiths Group was the leading faller after highlighting a disappointing performance in its airport scanners division. Shares were 6 per cent lower, off 81p to 1,268p.

JD Sports Fashion led the FTSE 250 Index after posting another set of impressive results. Shares rallied 4 per cent or 17.1p to 425.1p.