Trading has been relatively strong on the FTSE 100 today, even though BP announced its third-quarter...
Trading has been relatively strong on the FTSE 100 today, even though BP announced its third-quarter profits fell 20%, thanks largely to high street retailers and slightly improved profits for Marks & Spencer.
The FTSE 100 closed up just five points to 5214.1 after BP plc said the multi-million dollar oil company lost 20% of its profits or £750m in the last quarter because of falling oil and gas prices.
BP fell 18.5p or 3.3% to 541.5p after profits dropped to $3.05bn from £3.8bn, leading Shell Transport & Trading Co to also fall 14.5p or 2.8% to 506p and wipe 23 points off the FTSE 100 index.
Elsewhere, however, markets looked good. Marks & Spencer's stronger than expected first-half earnings rose 20% to £144.2m, leading analysts to believe that M&S is on the recovery trail and is now clawing back its market share in clothing.
Marks & Spencer rose 3.6% to 312p - having peaked at 325p earlier today - and boosted rival high street clothing stores too. House of Fraser gained 4% to 79p and Mothercare climbed 5.2% to 204p, while Selfridges advanced 4.9% to 279.5p.
Vodafone also saw its price rise after Spanish rival Telefonica Moviles SA said it had beaten analysts forecasts. Around £900m worth of Vodafone shares exchanged hands as the mobile phone network rose 5p or 3% to 171.5p.
Over in the US, marketmakers are far from happy and investors are locking in their gains from the recent technology stocks rally.
The Dow Jones fell 32.93 or 0.4% to 9408.1 and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 15.04 points or 0.8% to 1778.61 even though Cisco Systems came back to the market with first-quarter revenue which topped expectations.
Cisco jumped 20cents to $18.10 after the US' largest computer-networking equipment maker said its revenue rose 3.5% from $4.19bn in the previous quarter to $4.45bn in Q1.
However, analysts said the market needs more and better figures than this to prove the economy is pulling out of a recession.
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