There was concern from UK investors today that pharmaceuticals may again see their profits fall, whe...
There was concern from UK investors today that pharmaceuticals may again see their profits fall, when FTSE 100 share prices took a dive, as cheaper version of big-named products may take business away from the world's largest firms.
AstraZeneca was one of the largest culprits to drag the FTSE 100 down 54.8 points or 1.2% to 4702, only one day after posting the largest gain in eight months.
AstraZeneca slid 64p, or 2.2%, to 2,823p after climbing 4.6% yesterday while Shire Pharmaceuticals Group dropped 20.75p, or 3.6%, to 549.75p and GlaxoSmithKline declined 9p to 1,391p, paring yesterday's 5.7% advance.
Declines by HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC Holdings drove the FT-SE 350 banks index lower, leading declines among the 37 industry groups in terms of index points, after Abbey National's chief executive said banks were earning too much profit. Abbey National subsequently slid 44p, or 5.3%, to 789p, its lowest since August 2000.
British Airways managed to climb 4.75p, or 2.4%, to 201.25p after announcing it would cut fares by 80% across a third of its European routes from Thursday to try and rival budget airlines such as Easyjet.
Imperial Chemical Industries advanced 16p, or 5.5%, to 308p, having already added 2.5% yesterday thanks to Credit Suisse's agreement to buy ICI's 30% stake in a joint venture with Huntsman Corp.
And Vodafone Group dropped 3p, or 3.1%, to 93.25p, because the Financial Times published research from Detica which suggests almost half of all UK mobile phone users only make voice calls and aren't interested in ``third generation'' services.
Over in the US, share prices are still climbing but there is now concern again about the economy as housing prices jumped more than expected and inflation is unchanged.
The S&P 500 index rose 2.91 points, or 0.2%, to 1038.49, having gained 2.9% yesterday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 6.65 points, or 0.1%, to 9694.02, and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 2.72 points, or 0.2%, to 1556.01.
Homebuilders such as KB Home rallied on the back of government housing figures which suggest builders broke ground on new homes at an annual pace of 1.73m units last month, up 11.6% from April's 1.55m and exceeding economists' projections of 1.6m.
Fannie Mae, the biggest buyer of mortgages in the US, rose $1.16 to $79.45 as a result.
Meanwhile, a separate report showed consumer-price inflation was unchanged in May, suggesting the Federal Reserve can hold off on raising interest rates.
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