As markets await an expected 25 basis points increase in core US interest rates later today the FTSE 100 index has slipped about 10 points to 4,501 on corporate newsflow.
United Utilities leads the losers with a 29.5p drop to 517.5p two days after the UK electricity regulator outlined plans to force utilities firms to drop prices and squeeze investments over the next five years.
BOC is down 25.5p to 923.5p.
Man Group is down 26p to 1,433p after UBS cut its target share price on the company.
Gallaher is down 10p top 676p for similar reasons.
AstraZenica is down 28p to 2,493p after another note from analysts, this time at Standard & Poor’s, warning of weaker sales of its anti-cholesterol drug Crestor.
Shell is down 3.5p to 408.5p after spot oil prices declined again as production ramped up in Norway following the recent strike by oil workers there.
British Airways is up 6p to 284.75p for similar reasons as lower fuel costs boost profits.
BT is up 3.5p to 200.25p after promising almost all UK households will be capable of receiving broadband internet connections by summer next year.
Abbey is up 6.25p to 516.75p, despite newspaper reports its Scottish Mutual branded with profits fund could be in more trouble matching assets with liabilities.
Shares gained overnight in the US, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average index up 56.34 points to 10,413.43. The S&P 500 index added 2.85 points to 1,136.20, while Nasdaq’s Composite added 15.11 to 2,034.93 points.
Asian stocks have been mixed. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index shed 1.94 points to 11,858.87, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index has gained about 170 points to 12,285.IFAonline
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