Falling bank stocks helped drag the FTSE 100 index down 52.30 points to close at 4,118.40 points. ...
Falling bank stocks helped drag the FTSE 100 index down 52.30 points to close at 4,118.40 points.
The end of serious bidding for Abbey National by Bank of Ireland helped cut 61.5p from the stock, which closed at 623.5p.
An analyst downgrade helped cut 5p off Alliance & Leicester, which closed at 872p.
Poor results by telecoms equipment giant Ericsson put pressure on UK stocks too, helping MmO2 to shed 2.25p to 49p.
However, Vodafone managed to hang on to gains made yesterday and today, closing up 0.75p at 99.25p.
Good results reported by key US tech stock Microsoft and IBM helped push demand for Sage, which gained 7.25p to 137.25p on hopes its US presence will feed through in improved earnings - Sage competes in many of the same markets at Microsoft.
Royal & Sun Alliance put on 3.75p to 115.5p after Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to a 'buy'.
Mid-cap stocks also had a hard day and the FTSE 250 index fell 5.1 points to 4,366.3 points by the close, led down by MyTravel for the second day running.
The travel firm lost another 10.5p to 18p after investors fled further away from the uncertainty surrounding its profits accounting.
Reports that Amey may be close to breaking banking covenants helped send that stock down 4p to 25p.
It was a better day for mid-cap techs, as investors fed of the Microsoft news and pumped money into CMG, Arm and Logica.
They respectively gained 5.15p to 67.25p, 4.5p to 52p, and 14p to 152.75p.
Shares in New York are only marginally higher today so far, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average index currently up 27 points at 8,301 and the Nasdaq Composite up 8 points at 1,280.
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