The FTSE 100 index turned a winning morning into a losing afternoon closing down 2.20 points at 4,470.60 after stock markets in the US opened down on more fighting in Iraq.
Nokia continued to weigh on Continental stock exchange prices, while DaimlerChrysler contributed to the pessimism by reporting profits have been hit by lossses at its Mitsubishi subsidiary.
Here Dixons dropped most, down 5.75p to 147.5p after investors fretted about tomorrow’s Bank of England decision on interest rates, which could reduce debt-fuelled consumption.
Aviva led insurers down with a drop of 16p to 549p.
British Airways fell 7.25p to 291p after competitor EasyJet reported a 17% rise in passenger numbers during March.
Tesco dropped 3.5p to 246.5p despite chief executive Terry Leahy’s decision to switch to a one-year contract from the previous two-year one following investor concerns the company was not following best practice corporate governance.
Standard Chartered dropped 10p to 915.5p even as it and other international banks said they would take advantage of relaxation of Thai banking laws to do more business there.
Boots closed up 17p at 641.5p after analysts reacted positively to a meeting between the company and investors yesterday in the City.
GlaxoSmithKline added 29p to 1,124 even as a US court ruled it will not be entitled to damages from a patent claim against a generics manufacturer of antibiotics.
Diageo climbed 16.5p to 734.5p on a recommendation upgrade from ABN Amro.
The FTSE 250 index climbed 14.8 points to 6,323.1 after sub-prime lender Cattles added 22.5p to 362p.
Eurotunnel gained 1.75p to 38.75p after shareholders looked set to vote out the current board, replacing it with members who would seek to renegotiate the company’s massive debt load.
Hiscox dropped 12p to 166p as its biggest shareholder Chubb sold its 19% holding. Otherwise it should have been a good day, with Lloyds of London reporting a doubling of profits in 2003 on the back of rising premiums charged by its members.
Shares in New York are currently down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average index off by about 86 points to 10,483, and the S&P 500 down by about 8 points to 1,139.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