The FTSE 100 index fell 53.30 points to 4,516.20 as investors mulled over the lower sales and profits that rising interest rates will bring following the latest hike in the base rate by the Bank of England.
90 index members lost ground, including Vodafone which shed 2.75p, or nearly 2% to 140.75p – the company traded near £4 at its peak in 2000.
British Airways lost most, shedding 11.25p to 268.75 after several European competitors reported losses because of increasing competition to fill seats. Royal & Sun Alliance led the insurance sector down, dropping 3.25p to 77.75p, its lowest in 13 months.
Royal Bank of Scotland did better, adding 17p to 1,642p, rebounding from its drubbing yesterday sparked by the announcement of a major US acquisition.
Still strong oil prices helped BP and Shell.
BP added 1.75p to 499.75p, and Shell gained 2.25p to 405p.
The FTSE 250 index fell 50.7 points to 6,168.1.
Thus, the telecoms provider, reported narrowing losses, but its shares dropped 1.75p to 25p.
Shares are falling in the US after figures showed unemployment claims dropped again in the past week to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2000. There were also reports this afternoon of US troops again getting involved in urban warfare in one of Iraq’s biggest cities.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 117 points to 10,193, and the broader S&P 500 is down about 13 points to 1,108.IFAonline
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