UK bank stocks suffered this morning with declines by Abbey National and Lloyds TSB accounting for a...
UK bank stocks suffered this morning with declines by Abbey National and Lloyds TSB accounting for about one quarter of the Footsie's drop.
The index lost 39.1 points to 5911.6.
Lloyds TSB is trying to acquire Britain's second-largest mortgage bank, Abbey National, for 19.7 billion pounds but there is concern that UK anti-trust regulators will block the deal. Abbey National declined 54p to 1,241. Lloyds TSB lost 28.5p to 719. Analysts say the decision will define the terms for mergers and acquisitions throughout British banking.
Concern over regulatory control of future expansion meant HSBC Holdings also fell 26.5p to 888.5.
Railtrack again suffered, falling 29.5p to 368 after The Guardian reported consultants, to be paid for by the owner of Britain's railroad network, will be hired to examine matters such as the rising cost of improving the West Coast Line between London and Glasgow.
On opening US stocks fell as companies from Alliance Semiconductor Corp. to Spectrian Corp., a maker of phone equipment, said sales or profit would disappoint investors. An unexpected drop in Japan's gross domestic profit raised concern economies won't rebound any time soon.
The Dow Jones lost 10.28 to 10,965.49. The Standard and Poor's suffered a smaller decline of 1.22 to 1263.74 and the Nasdaq dropped 18.63 to 2196.47.
Juniper Networks Inc declined for a second day on a disappointing sales forecast. The most active Nasdaq stock, it fell 77 cents to $37.25.
Spectrian lost $3.03 to $16.03. The maker of radio amplifiers said its loss excluding certain costs this quarter will be wider than previously forecast. The company, whose products are used in wireless phone equipment, cited slowing growth in North America and Korea.
Alliance Semiconductor dropped $1.35 to $12. The chipmaker said it expects its first-quarter revenue to drop by at least half from the $33 million it reported in the previous quarter.
American Express Co. gained 91 cents to $41.90 on Instinet after Barron's reported the issuer of credit and charge cards has held merger talks with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.
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