Having added more than 150 points in the past three days, the FTSE 100 index today ran out of steam ...
Having added more than 150 points in the past three days, the FTSE 100 index today ran out of steam and dropped about 7 points to 3,762 in the first hour.
More than half the stocks in the index recorded losses today, led down by Schroders non-voting stock, which lost 19.75p to 475p.
Emap saw its recommendation cut to 'neutral' by equity analysts at JPMorgan, and shares dropped 20p to 754p.
Canary Wharf, which yesterday staged a strong rally, is today down 3.5p to 136.5p as investors once again fret over the amount of vacant office space in London.
BT Group is down 3.5p to 169.5p after telecoms regulator Oftel said the company would have to cut the wholesale prices it charges rivals for access to its internet network.
Vodafone dropped 1.5p to 118.5p after Greek operator Panafon said it would sell all its Vodafone shares by June – the shares were part payment for a deal between the two companies.
Dixons leads the gainers, adding 2.5p to 89.25p as investors reconsider the company in light of the share price falls suffered since the start of the year.
ICI has moved up 1.75p to 100.75p.
The FTSE 250 is down 1.7 points to 4,039.
Balfour Beatty leads the losers, dropping 6.75p to 150.25p as investors reconsider whether the contracts awarded by Network Rail two days ago are really going to bring significantly greater earnings, considering parliamentary committee proposals since to put tolls on roads, which would further overload already creaking rail routes.
AWG, owner of Anglian Water, is up 20p to 543.5p after announcing it would return £177m, or £1 per share to shareholders.
Overnight trading in other markets saw mixed results.
In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is down 44.68 points to 8,240.38, the S&P 500 is down 4.45 points to 876.45, and Nasdaq's Composite index is down 0.14 points to
However, Asian markets were up this morning.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index gained 56.37 points to 8,074.12.
Meanwhile, signs that quarantine measures may be stemming the spread of SARS, the flu-like pneumonia, in Hong Kong has helped the Hang Seng index climb 169 points to 8,817.
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