UK stocks fell after Iraq said it will suspend oil exports for a month, raising concerns that rising...
UK stocks fell after Iraq said it will suspend oil exports for a month, raising concerns that rising crude prices will cramp an economic rebound. Crude for May jumped as much as 5.5% to $27.43 per barrel.
Vodafone led declines in the FTSE 100, which posted its biggest drop in five weeks, falling 55 points to 5178.6. Vodafone dropped 4.5p to 126.75p. HSBC fell by 6p to 784p and Lloyds TSB dropped 11p to 708p.
Two stocks declined for every one that advanced in the FTSE All Share, which fell 25.12 points to 2517.31.
ARM Holdings gained 5p to 274p. Andrew Griffin, Mark Power and Tal Eloya, analysts at Merrill Lynch, reiterated their strong buy recommendation of the semiconductor designer. They also raised their 2003 earnings per share estimate by 3.6% to 5.7p.
The BT Group fell 5.5p to 268p. The telephone company said its internet services division, BT Ignite, will focus on the UK and close some of its unprofitable units in Europe in a bid to improve earnings. BT also said it is targeting annual growth in earnings per share of at least 25% through fiscal 2005.
The third largest music group, EMI, fell 18.75p to 332.5p. It is to push ahead with an initial public offering of HMV Media, the retail chain, of which it owns 42.7%, as soon as market conditions allow.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 83.66 to 10,187.85, with IBM accounting for 90% of the decline. The S&P 500 Index slid 6.39 to 1116.34. Computer-related companies also contributed to almost 90% of the loss. The Nasdaq Composite index declined 26.13 to 1743.90.
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