IN the UK the FTSE 100 index of leading share closed down 55.4 points to 5,372.4 at dragging the benchmark down to a two-week low as investors fretted about global growth prospects, although the hard hit mining sector rebounded towards the end of the session.
Anglo American ended 59p, or 3.7% higher to 1650p, topping the FTSE 100 leaderboard, followed by gains for Rio Tinto of 56p, or 2.53%, 2270p, Xstrata of 28p, or 2.02,% to 1417p and Antofagasta of 25p, or 1.7%, to 1497p.
Cadbury Schweppes was the heaviest faller. The shares lost 28p, or 4.8%, to 558.50p after the group warned it was unlikely to meet its margin target for 2005 because of rising costs.
In the US, stocks rose as General Electric lifted the lower end of its annual profit forecast and oil prices declined.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 44.91 points, or 0.5%, to 10,362.27 in early trading.
GE has advanced $0.80, or 2.5%, to $33.48 after it increased its full-year profit forecast to at least $1.81 a share from a previous forecast of at least $1.80. GE also expects third-quarter earnings to be at the high end of a range of $0.43 to $0.44 a share.
Merck has risen $0.56 to $27.45 after saying its vaccine to protect against a virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer prevented two common forms of the disease in a study of women. Merck has said it plans to seek approval by 2006 to market the vaccine, which will be sold as Gardasil. It will be only the second treatment available to prevent a cancer.
Costco has jumped $2.15 to $45.06. The largest warehouse-club retailer says fourth-quarter earnings rose 20%, surpassing analysts' estimates, on lower taxes and higher sales. The company also said it plans to repurchase as much as $1bn of stock.
Marriott, the biggest US hotel company, has so far gained $1.33 to $64.50. The company says third-quarter profit excluding some items was $0.70 a share.IFAonline
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation