Results from house builder Taylor Woodrow outlining less than expected profits last year have helped sap confidence this morning, sending the FTSE 100 index down about 7 points to 4,846.
Bank Standard Chartered leads the losses with a 24p slip to 929p after spending $3.3bn on buying Korea’s third largest bank to preserve its position in Asia’s third biggest banking market. The deal will be partly funded by the placement of new shares.
Hanson, the brick maker, is down 5.75p to 454.5p – a cooling housing market may reduce demand for its products.
Dixons is down 1.75p to 151.75p on speculation it is about to announce slower than expected Christmas sales on 12 January.
Insurers are being hurt by references to this weekend’s severe flooding in the UK, which could cost the companies “tens of millions of pounds” according to some reports.
Royal & Sun Alliance is down 0.75p to 83.25p, while Aviva is down 5.5p to 640p.
BOC, the supplier of special gases to healthcare, steelmaking and chip making industries, is down 4.5p to 969p following weekend reports of shareholder discontent over proposed remuneration packages for executives.
Barclays leads the gainers, up 13p to 610p after news its talks to buy a major South African banking group are progressing well.
BSkyB is up 9.5p to 572.5p after being tipped by Morgan Stanley to be one of the better performers this year.
William Hill is up 7.5p to 553p even after warning it will incur losses because favoured teams in the Premiership have been scoring wins.
Johnson Matthey, the chemicals specialist, are up 9p to 978p after its shares were upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ by Merrill Lynch.
Shares in Hong Kong traded down earlier today as Tokyo’s markets were closed for a national holiday.
The Hang Seng index fell 43.47 points to 13.531.39, with investor focus on Chinese oil companies following media reports suggesting they could be eying up M&A deals with Indian counterparts to create true global competitors to established Western oil majors.
Shares closed won in the US too ahead of the weekend.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 18.92 by the close, with the broader S&P 500 index down 1.7 points to 1,186.19.IFAonline
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