The FTSE 100 index is down 38 points at 4,047 this morning after downbeat news from Cable & Wireless...
The FTSE 100 index is down 38 points at 4,047 this morning after downbeat news from Cable & Wireless and steelmaker Corus.
The latter has scrapped its proposed merger with Brazilian company CSN, sending its shares down 9.75p to 37p and leaving shareholders scratching their heads at the future of this rump of British Steel in a global market that is awash with overproduction.
C&W has meanwhile dropped a whopping 24% or 31.25p to 99p after announcing it will spend £800m restructuring its global operations.
At this level the company has a market value of £2.8bn; enough to remain in the FTSE 100 for now, but any further big falls could see it go the way of former core FTSE members such as British Airways.
It has been a better day for publisher Emap, which says its first-half sales have grown compared to last year because it is no longer burdened by heavy losses from US operations - shares moved up 10.5p to 785.5p.
A big winner for a second day running is Vodafone, which is up another 2p to 113p as shocked analysts have had to raise their 2003 and 2004 full-year forecasts after seriously undershooting the figures released yesterday.
The FTSE 250 mid-caps index is down 18 points at 4,443.
Heading the losers is Amey, currently an extremely volatile stock as the claims and counterclaims fly about its legal position with regard to contracts to build and maintain new Underground infrastructure; today it is down 1.5p to 29.25p.
Legal issues also surround Cambridge Antibody, but in its case shares are today up 27.5p to 527.5p.
Last night the US Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed up 27.05 points at 8,386.
The S&P 500 closed up 6.76 points at 882.95, and the Nasdaq Composite closed up 30.37 points at 1,349.56.
Earlier this morning Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed down 26.25 points at 8,438.52, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is up 2.78 points at 9,616.62.
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