Oil sector weakness held the FTSE 100 back from making decent gains but the index still managed...
Oil sector weakness held the FTSE 100 back from making decent gains but the index still managed to rise 58.3 points to 5129.5. There were 79 gainers amongst the FTSE 100 against just 18 losers but gains and losses were modest. Index heavyweight BP fell after the price of crude hit a 27 month low.
Prudential spearheaded FTSE 100 gains after pleasing the city with the latest details of its cost cutting initiative, which it hopes will save £175 a year by 2004. The group is selling its general insurance division for £353m to Credit Suisse and is cutting a further 2100 jobs by the end of 2003. The stock added 47p to 782p.
BP fell 5.5p to 553.5p and Shell slipped 7p to 514p.
Over on Wall Street the Nasdaq staged a recovery by midday to wipe out a 1.1% decline. But all the major indices were relatively flat. The Dow Jones added 60 to 9324, the Standard & Poor's 500 added 3 to 1087 and the Nasdaq was up 9 to 1755.
Sun Microsystems and Microsoft were amongst the leading gainers.
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