A profits warning by US computer services firm EDS helped UK technology stocks lose ground today, bu...
A profits warning by US computer services firm EDS helped UK technology stocks lose ground today, but it was fears about supposedly solid defence spending that caused the biggest headaches for investors, sending the FTSE 100 index down 50.91 points to 3,813.50 by the close.
BAE Systems led the way with a fall of 27.25p to 173.75p, taking its shares to their lowest point in seven years.
Rolls-Royce was not far behind with a 4.5p drop to 107.5p.
Invensys shed 4p to 67.5p.
GlaxoSmithKline shed 47p to £11.45p after agreeing an out of court settlement with Genentech over a dispute involving hamster cells.
WPP Group fell 19.5p to 401p as concern continued over advertising spending worldwide.
However, on the day AMP revealed some less than flattering figures, Aviva managed to make a 10p gain to 356p
Diageo gained 24p to 817p as investors bet economic worries will translate into more people reaching for a drink.
Top performer was stock market darling WM Morrison, the supermarket that does not seem able to put a foot wrong at present, gaining 15.5p to 218.5p.
Mid-cap stocks also had a tough day, the FTSE 250 index shedding 64.6 points to 4,484.5.
Debenhams lost 30p to 265.5p and CMG lost 4.25p to 47.75p.
A quirk of accounting means that British Energy ended up making the biggest percentage gain of any stock in the index today.
Shares gained 20% or 1p to 6p on speculation the government will help the company avoid insolvency.
One year ago the shares stood at more than £3 each.
Shares are also falling in the US at present, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average index currently down 90 points at 8,082 and Nasdaq's Composite down 14 points at 1,237.
Frankfurt's DAX index is down 76 points at 3,049, and Paris' CAC 40 is off by 73 points at 2,927.
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