There was little going right for the FTSE at midday, the index was well over 100 points lower. Techn...
There was little going right for the FTSE at midday, the index was well over 100 points lower. Technology and telecom stocks fell heavily as did a select rabble from the old economy. Only twelve stocks posted gains and they were minimal at that.
At midday the FTSE 100 slumped 123.9 points to 5494.6.
Fears of a global slowdown pressed investor confidence as did earnings concern. All this was exacerbated by the poor close to US markets yesterday that saw company profit warnings including American Express. To worsen matters there were no indicators that US markets will improve when they open later today.
Closer to home the March European consumer sentiment survey came in below expectations.
Leading the FTSE 100 was Railtrack. Shares tumbled in the wake of yesterday's earnings warning and reports that the company is to lose its monopoly in construction projects. Broker UBS Warburg stuck the boot in downgrading the stock from strong buy to hold and slashing its price target over 50% to 688p. The stock toppled 73p to 497p.
Among the technology and telecom casualties, CMG was badly hit, down 69.5p to 500p and Marconi dropped 35.5p to 306.5p. The telecom equipment manufacturer suffered a blow as its French peer Alcatel, announced US job cuts overnight in light of the economic slowdown.
Service increasingly key
Aiming to be' top three' UK financial planner
Lowest measure since index launched in 1995
Complaints into double figures
Despite lower median annual earnings