Concerns about the profit potential of retail firms forced the FTSE 100 to take a hit by the end of ...
Concerns about the profit potential of retail firms forced the FTSE 100 to take a hit by the end of today's trading, leaving the FTSE 100 down 25.4 points or 0.6% to 4077.
EMI Group and its rival HMV had differing performances after the New York Post revealed subpoenas are being sent to ISPs to get hold of the names of individuals or firms which are believed to be trading music electronically.
EMI added 4p, or 3.2%, to 128p but HMV, which also owns Waterstones, didn't do so well because Advent International – a US buyout firm – sold a huge 31.8m chunk of its shares, totaling around 8% of the total share content.
As a result, HMV saw its share value drop 8p or 5% to 135p – the same price as Citigroup was selling the shares for Advent.
Marks & Spencer Group also revealed it does not now expect 2003 to be a particularly good year. Sales increased by around 3% in the first quarter but trading is now expected to be "subdued". M&S fell 23.75p or 7% to 311.25p.
In other sectors, Aviva managed to pull back its position and close up 13p of 2.8% to 486p after S&P confirmed its rating on the French operation. This is likely to have been backed by yesterday's announcement to cut 900 jobs through compulsory redundancy, even though unions are now threatening strike action.
And talk of a possible takeover bid by Boots aroused new interest in SSL International, the maker of Durex condoms, after a national newspaper leaked the suggestion.
By close of business tonight, SSL has risen 8.5p or 2.6% to 338.5p while Boots drooped a little and lost almost 2% to 641.5p.
In the US, trading has so far struggled to fare much better.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index is currently down around 7.2 points or 0.7% to 993.25 after an announcement from Citigroup which says its chief executive Sanford Weill will step down.
The Dow Jones is also off 56.2 points or 0.6% to 9072.78, after Coca Cola Co revealed it would need to cut annual sales forecasts and targets.
And the Nasdaq lost 8.5 points or 0.5% to 1744.75 by close of business in London.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till