The FTSE 100 index is down about 81 points to 4,416 after the entire board went red on a steep drop in futures prices of US stocks because of expected interest rate rises, and geopolitical fears after this weekend's blowing-up of the Russian-imposed leader of Chechnya.
Making the news this morning is Marks & Spencer, whose chairman has been booted by the board because of failure to drop his other business commitments, including a private equity investment firm.
M&S shares are down 3.75p to 273.25p as a result.
British Airways leads the losers in percentage terms, down 13.5p to 253.75p as rising oil prices threaten to undo plans to cut costs and boost profitability.
Vodafone is off by 4.75p to 134.75p after its biggest competitor in Japan NTT DoCoMo said increasing competition in that market would cut its profits this year.
ITV is down 3.5p to 117.25p after making a £31m bid for Scottish Media Group’s 25% share in GMTV, which could trigger a buy-out clause for a similar holding in GMTV belonging to Disney.
Shares closed down in New York on Friday as investors continued to show their fear interest rates could start rising in the US by the summer, slowing down corporate earnings and profits growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index shed 123.92 points to 10,117.34, while the broader S&P 500 index dropped 15.29 points to 1,098.70.
Companies like General Motors also fear new figures showing while quarterly corporate profits are up nearly 100% since late 2001, employees salaries are up only about 4%, which could increase pressure on firms to rebalance their payouts in favour of employees at the expense of shareholders.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index shed almost 5%, or 554.12 points to 10,884.70 this morning, erasing all gains made in March and April this year.IFAonline
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