It's the big names which are driving trading again this morning, as activity seems to have renewed v...
It's the big names which are driving trading again this morning, as activity seems to have renewed vigour for profit-taking and bargains.
Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone company, added 0.5p or 0.4% to 114.25p continuing yesterday's rally in the telecoms market, while AstraZeneca, Europe's second-biggest pharmaceutical firm, gained another 22p or 1.1% to £20.90.
It hasn't been a huge gain so far but the FTSE 100 was at least up 6 points or 0.2% to 3685.5 within the first hour of trading.
It may not help to know the Asian markets have had a rough day, as computer manufacturers and semiconductor chip producers are beginning to feel the weight of economic recession.
TDK Corp, Japan's biggest producer of disk-drive components, led to losses for shares of electronics parts makers as it reported a lower full-year profit.
TDK lost 3.3% to Y5,020 and the Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8% to 8484.19 by the close. The Topix index didn't do much better as it lost 0.6% to 839.95, led largely by computer and tech-related stocks.
The knock-on effect was felt in Taiwan where the TWSE index fell 3.6% and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing revealed demand may not improve after all for the first three months of the year.
It was also seen in South Korea as the Kospi index sank 1.9%. LG Electronics had to report it had wider losses than expected because of increased employee payments and losses as some units.
This may be, in part, thanks to yesterday's downward close in the US, which dropped for the second day in a row on concern that US determination to go to war with Iraq may go ahead regardless of UN intervention, but it won't be soon.
Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations yesterday seems to failed to prove the case that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, so pressure is back on the economy again. War with Iraq would of course benefit the economy in the long run.
Oil stocks saw much of the losses, as the Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 4.61 points to 843.59 and the Dow Jones dropped 28.11points to 7985.18. The Nasdaq Composite index also slipped 4.65 points or 0.4 % to 1301.50.
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