UK stocks lost a lot of ground just an hour before close of business after what had already been a r...
UK stocks lost a lot of ground just an hour before close of business after what had already been a rocky day, as a US report revealed manufacturing expansion is moving at a slower pace than most had expected.
This is the third negative report in two days to come out of the US, along with news that two senior executives from WorldCom have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to defraud.
Such news was compounded further by financial results from Barclays and Deutsche Bank which said bad loans - particularly in Argentina where the economy is in dire straits - has cut their profits considerably.
The FTSE 100 lost 201.70 points or 4.8% to 4044.50 by close of business on Thursday 1st, but it was only after the US Institute for Supply Management released its document at 3pm London time that the market began to sell again. Even the unchanged 4% lending rate announcement from the Bank of England's MPC failed to inspire investors until later in the day.
News of debt problems for Barclays Bank created a knock-on loss for Royal Bank of Scotland Group which eventually fell 155p or 9.2% to 1525p while Lloyds TSB Group dropped 53.5p or 8.4% to 586p.
As you might expect, shares activity does not look too attractive in the US and the Dow Jones has lost almost 200 points, with prospects of further falls to come.
Exxon Mobil led the decline after the largest publicly traded oil company reported profits which disappointed investors.
The S&P 500 fell 22.89 points or 2.5% to 888.73 while the Dow Jones declined 193.49 points or 2.2 % to 8543 and the Nasdaq Composite index slid 35.20 points or 2.7%, to 1293.06.
The Institute for Supply Management group - which published negative manufacturing figures this morning - said its factory index fell to 50.5 last month from 56.2 the previous month. A level greater than 50 signals growth, and analysts had expected 55.
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