A brighter than expected opening on Wall Street helped the FTSE 100 to shrug off its early heavy los...
A brighter than expected opening on Wall Street helped the FTSE 100 to shrug off its early heavy losses but the UK index still closed lower with new economy stocks in the doldrums.
The FTSE 100 finished the day down 17 points to 5749.6.
Despite yesterday's stern earnings warning from US technology titan, Cisco, the US's mood regarding technology stocks improved as it adopted a 'things can only get better' attitude.
But with Intel due to release first quarter figures after trade there is still potential for further disappointment, despite today's pragmatic dose of optimism.
In the UK defensive and non cyclical stocks headed the risers table.
A good day for drinks groups after Goldman Sachs maintained its recommended rating on Diageo and issued a 810p price target on the group. Diageo improved 13.5p to 723.5p. A Good day for retailers and pharmaceuticals too, although gains were limited to around 2 - 3%. Tesco, Sainsbury, Kingfisher, Marks & Spencer, Shire Pharmaceuticals and Glaxo Smithkline all on the leaders table.
Fallers were predominantly from the new economy. Software group Dimension Data wasn't cheered by the US optimism and it fell 29.25p to 259p. But other losses were capped at around 6%, with Energis and Sage under the firing line.
Among the tiddlers software manufacturer Ffastfill finished as the day's big loser. A full year profit warning was blamed on instability in its software, which the group assured is no longer problematic. Ffastfill pointed out its cash balances of around £11.5m are equivalent to more than 25p per share. But despite management's illuminations the stock still lost 7p to 17.5p.
Over in the US, at midday the main indices were flat as Cisco's warning failed to dent confidence further. Onlookers pointed to this resilience as another sign that the bottom has been reached.
The Dow Jones shed 5.6 to 10152.64, while the Nasdaq slipped 2.55 to 1907.02 and the Standard & Poor's 500 added 3.88 to 1183.56.
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