With little in the way of positive company news out today, most investors were repositioning their p...
With little in the way of positive company news out today, most investors were repositioning their portfolios in the wake of this weekend's bombings on the island of Bali in Indonesia, helping drive the FTSE 100 index down 21.80 points to 3,931.60 by the close.
Major pharmaceutical stocks tried to pull the index up, following a major patent win by AstraZenica.
That stock gained 272p to £23.40 today following a US court decision to extend the patent of its best-selling ulcer drug.
Peer GlaxoSmithKline was not far behind with a 25p gain to £13.28.
But the pharmaceutical sector's good news could not counteract the selling pressure in the engineering, financial services and supermarket sectors.
Mid-cap supermarket Sommerfield announced its chief executive was getting the chop as it revealed a huge drop in earnings, which caused FTSE 100 stock WM Morrison to drop 8,75p to 196.25p, while Sainsbury lost 13.5p to 268.5p.
Concerns over sales of cars and aircraft affected parts supplier GKN, which dropped 17.75p to 218p, while Tomkins dropped 12.25p to 200p.
Legal&General led the financials down with a 5.25p drop to 101.75p after another analyst note downgraded the stock over concerns reserves are still being tested by current market conditions.
The FTSE 250 mid-caps were led down by Sommerfield, which lost nearly half its value, or 45p to close at 50p after a shock profits warning.
Colt Telecom came under more pressure from the hedge fund trying to get the firm put into administration, and the company again denied its future earnings would not be enough to cover debts - shares fell 4p to 28p.
Meanwhile, an "alliance" involving telecoms test equipment maker Spirent helped that stock reverse recent falls, making it the top gainer with a 1.4p rise to 11.4p.
And children's toys have helped Hit Entertainment record another rise in profits, resulting in a share price rise today of 26.5p to 235p.
In New York early losses by the Dow Jones Industrial Average have been exchanged for a 21 points gain to 7,870 since London markets closed.
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