The FTSE 100 finished the day lower unable to recover from falls in heavyweight stock Vodafone....
The FTSE 100 finished the day lower unable to recover from falls in heavyweight stock Vodafone. News that the telecom colossus is returning to the market for £3bn in a share placing ushered forth a spate of selling. Nasdaq's strength yesterday and continuing gains today lifted UK technology stocks but it wasn't enough to offset the Vodafone blues.
The FTSE 100 finished the day modestly lower, down 23.8 points to 5904.2
Vodafone was second placed among the FTSE 100 fallers and accounted for around a third of the days trading. The market pounced on news that it's to sell £3bn worth of shares to finance its £4.8bn purchase of BT's stake in Japan Telecom and Spain's Airtel. Vodafone shares sunk 7.25p to 199p. Telecom peer Telewest led the losers, down 5.5p to 133.5p.
Leading the FTSE 100 gainers was software group CMG, boosted by Nasdaq's happier mood. CMG added 44.5p to 407.5p followed by Colt Telecom, up 82p to 1017p.
Elsewhere among the tiddlers, shares in Ronson ignited after the lighter manufacturer issued a bullish trading statement. Chairman, Victor Kiam is confident the group will return to profitability and said first-quarter results were better than expected. New products will be available from June 2001 and full-year results should benefit from these sales. The stock bulged 0.2p to 0.75p.
Over in the US, at midday blue chips were relatively flat but technology stocks recorded modest gains. The Dow Jones slipped 40 to 10858, the Standard & Poor's 500 shed 1.45 to 1264.99 while the Nasdaq pushed for a 2% gain, up 37.66 to 2205.9.
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