UK stocks fell today, despite an optimistic open this morning. The FTSE reacted to the highest ...
UK stocks fell today, despite an optimistic open this morning.
The FTSE reacted to the highest unemployment hike in three years and a slump in factory orders in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, which raised concern about the outlook for earnings at companies like as Hays, Imperial Chemical Industries and Aviva.
The Bank of England left interest rates unchanged at 4 %, indicating that a recovering in Britain is slowing. FTSE 100 fell 15.9 points, or 0.4%, to 4011.
Aviva fell 9.5p, or 2.1%, to 454.5.
It was a good day for tobacco companies. Shares for Gallaher, the maker of Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut cigarettes, continued to rise today, up 17p, or 2.5%, to 687, following an analyst report at Goldman Sachs. On the back of Gallaher, Imperial Tobacco gained 37p, or 3.4%, to 1,121. The stock is up 61% this year.
Arriva ended the day on a positive note following an upbeat market open for the firm. Shares for the bus operator rose 5.25p, or 1.6%, to 328 after the company said first-half profit more than doubled.
Oil services company Abbot Group climbed 4.5p, or 3.4%, to 137 after it reported first-half profit rose 39%, partly because of acquisitions.
Granada fell 2p, or 2.6%, to 74.75. The company extended yesterday's 4.4% loss, which came after Merrill Lynch & Co. cut 2003 profit forecasts for Granada and Carlton Communications, the owners of the Independent Television network, on concern about lower advertising revenue. Carlton shed 7.25p, or 5.4%, to 127.25.
Private-client fund manager Rathbone Brothers saw its shares rise 40p, or 7.5%, to 572.5. The company said first-half operating income rose 7.5% and it is winning ``significant new business.''
Marlborough Stirling plunged 29.5p, or 56%, to 23. The supplier of software to UK pension providers said annual earnings will be below analysts' forecasts after a contract took longer to implement than planned.
Staffing company Hays declined 6.5 pence, or 5.2%, to 119.5p, while ICI, Britain's largest specialty-chemical maker slid 8.5p, or 3.5%, to 238.
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