Steady Eddie caused a bit of a stir in the markets today after his comments to a House of Commons co...
Steady Eddie caused a bit of a stir in the markets today after his comments to a House of Commons committee that interest rates might have to rise sooner rather than later to stem the blazing hot property market and rampant consumerism gripping the nation.
With signs that manufacturing may be picking up due to better growth in overseas markets, and forecasts that house prices could rise 20% this year, Bank of England governor Eddie George told the committee that monetary policy may have to be tightened if "spending doesn't slow down of its own accord".
This is not what FTSE companies want to hear right now, and the index of 100 leading shares ended the day down nearly 80 points at another 8-month low of 4,771.90
This was good news for the defensive stocks, of course, as investors piled back into food and tobacco, pushing Tesco up 2.5p to 254.5p and BAT up 10p to 790p.
Oil, telecoms and banks were blighted, however, and BP shed 8.5p to 542.5p, Vodafone lost 2.75p to 94.5p - a new 4-year closing low - and Royal Bank of Scotland lost 55p to £18.80.
Granada hit the rocks with a 6.5p drop to 114p after the chairman of ITV's news network said he would retire, one day after Granada and Carlton announced they were acquiring the remaining 65% of the news station not already in their hands.
This week's absolute stinker Abbey National lost another 38p to 858p after concerns arose over its insurance business - just the latest bad news to hit the firm this week.
The news was just as glum in the mid-caps sector, where the FTSE 250 index lost 52.9 points by the close to 5,857.p.
Again, it was the retailers who attracted, with Woolworth's putting on 3p to 48.5p.
And good passenger numbers eased Easyjet up 12p to 498p.
Insurance trouble spilled over into the software industry, as Innovation Group said the suspension of an order from R&SA would not hurt revenue: investors took that with rather a large pinch of salt, selling shares down 21p to 93p.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite indices in New York were both trading down as London markets closed.
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