Removal of share dividends on British American Tobacco Plc, Hilton Group and Scottish and Southern Energy shares has kept the FTSE 100 index low this morning in early trading.
The FTSE 100 index dropped 7.9 points or 0.2% to 4532 within the first hour of trading, led by British American Tobacco which also fell 26p or 3.1% to 813p.
Hotel chain the Hilton Group also lost 5p or 2.2% to 223p as a wealth of shares changed hands without the right to a 5.52p final dividend.
Scottish & Southern Energy has also declined 2.5% to 676p after withdrawing the shareholders’ rights to an interim dividend of 11.3p.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index finally halted its five-day rally, and closed almost flat. Had it not been for strong interest in Mizuho Bank, the Nikkei would have fallen further than the 0.1% lost to just under 11,352.
Having already enjoyed the benefits earlier in the week of HSBC’s record profits, traders were profit-taking in Hong Kong yesterday and drove the Hang Seng index down 2% or 277.26 to 13,454 points after JP Morgan Chase suggested investors cut their holdings.
And in the US yesterday, all three main indices closed down, in part because Oracle’s takeover of SAP is experiencing problems and because the dollar hit an 11-week high against the euro.
The Dow Jones closed down 86.66 points or 0.81% to 10,591 while the Nasdaq Composite index dropped 18.15 points or 0.88% to 2,039 and the S&P 500 index fell 6.86 points or 0.59% to 1,149.IFAonline
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