UK trading remained gloomy for the last session of the week, and investors are not taking the MPC's ...
UK trading remained gloomy for the last session of the week, and investors are not taking the MPC's rate decision well as analysts and corporate financiers hoped for a rate cut yesterday.
The FTSE 100 fell 46.70 points or 1.1% to 4034.60, led by banking stocks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, which lost 17p or 2.4% to 707.5p and 7.75p or 1.7% to 447.25p respectively.
Vodafone also took a knock and fell 3.75p or 3.6% to 99.25p , amid rumours Vivendi Universal will counter Vodafone's bid for France's phone company Cegetel SA.
AstraZeneca managed to climb 127p, or 5.4% to £24.65 after analysts at Deutsche Bank and CSFB raised their recommendations on the UK pharmaceutical firm.
Fitness First, the chain whose shares have fallen 73% this year, rose 10.5p or 9.2%, to 124.5p. could now become a private company if the management buyout by Michael Balfour is successful. Holmes Place also gained 7.5p or 6.9% to 116p on the back of Fitness First.
But 3i Group declined 28.5p or 5.1% to 530p as there is concern about its status as a venture capital company. The value of the investments of Europe's largest publicly traded private equity company are falling, as are most investments in European asset management and VC firms.
Worries over profit potential have also slowed trading in the US as some of its biggest companies are missing their targets, and the UN has just passed a resolution demanding Iraq give weapons inspectors full access. The prospect of war is getting closer.
McDonald's said earnings will miss forecasts, knocking its shares down $2.26 to $17.05 and Walt Disney reported lower profit at its media unit, losing 67 cents to $17.59 off its value.
Tenet Healthcare has so far lost almost half its value after two top executives left the second largest hospital chain amid a government probe. It share value plummeted $12.53 to $15.42.
The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 6.43 points or 0.7% to 896.22 while the Dow Jones dropped 42.31 points or 0.5% to 8543.93 and the Nasdaq lost 15.33 points or 1.1% to 1361.38.
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