Selling across sectors sent the FTSE 100 into a downward spiral. Technology and telecom stocks ...
Selling across sectors sent the FTSE 100 into a downward spiral. Technology and telecom stocks were in the frontline of the sell off which suggests April's gains were overdone. Last but not least the US markets opened poorly with the Nasdaq pushing for a 3% loss by midday.
The FTSE 100 finished the day down 138.4 points to 5765.8.
Gains were restricted solely to old economy stocks and limited at that. ICI led the risers, with a modest gain of 15.5p to 427.5p. The city breathed a sigh of relief after the group released first quarter results that didn't disappoint despite only matching middle range expectations.
Scottish Power also fared well with a rise of 6.5p to 448p. The group announced a full year pre-tax profit before items of £628m. This was below analysts' forecasts of around £647m. But the city lapped up news that a number of offers have been made for the group's Southern Water unit.
On their way down, telecom equipment tester Spirent led the FTSE 100 pack with a loss of 28.5p to 360p. Colt Telecom and Telewest were high up among the losers both losing 6%.
Index heavyweight Vodafone continued to halter Footsie's progress as it lost 9.75p to 189.25p. The stock continues to be subject to heavy selling following yesterday's £3.5bn share placing to fund its acquisition of BT's stake in Japan Telecom and Spain's Airtel.
US markets opened poorly. By midday the Nasdaq was down 62.66 to 2157.94, the Dow Jones lost 118 to 10757 and the Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 21.53 to 1245.9.
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