Shares dropped across the board this morning as oil prices continued to rise in the wake of this weekend's big storms in the North East US and poor company news outweighed the good - the FTSE is down about 29 points to 4,774.
Shire Pharmaceuticals is down 22p to 615p after regulatory authorities in Canada and Europe raised questions over the company’s new Alzheimer’s drug.
British Airways is down 4.75p to 242.75p after storms closed airports in the US, forcing airlines to cancel flights from London through the key North Atlantic routes. Rising oil prices also hurt the company.
Schroders, the fund manager, is down 10.5p to 673p after the company was linked, along with others, to a possible takeover bid for HHG, the asset manager spun out of Australian insurer AMP when it withdrew from the UK market.
Amvescap is down 4p to 307.5p on the same rumours.
HBOS is down 8.5p to 833p following weekend reports Parliament may seek to ban unsolicited credit card or loan offers from banks.
Barclays is down 6p to 579p.
Rio Tinto leads the mining sector, up 21p to 1,641p after another estimate that iron ore and coking coal prices will rise through this year.
BHP Billiton is up 6.5p to 643.5p. Xstrata is up 6.5p to 921.5p. Antofagasta, the Chilean copper miner, is up 8p to 1,150p
US indices closed down on Friday, while those in Asia traded mixed earlier today.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index was up 51.12 points to 11,289.49, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 94.03 points to 13,386.99.
The Nikkei’s gains come after two of the Bank of Japan’s policy board argued levels of reserves to bail out bankrupt banks should be lowered once existing rules are changed on 31 March. Allowing Japanese banks to go bankrupt is seen as a litmus test of the government’s moves to introduce structural economic reforms.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed down 78.48 points at 10,392.99 on Friday. Company results coupled with forecasts of slowing sales growth in some sectors helped drag confidence down.
IBM fell $0.62 to $92.38, but may fall further after weekend reports the company’s planned sale of its PC making business to a Chinese competitor could be blocked for national security reasons.
The broader S&P 500 index fell 7.54 points to 1,167.87, while Nasdaq’s tech-laden Composite index fell 11.61 points to 2,034.27.
With continued harsh weather predicted, rising demand for heating oil is set to push oil prices up in New York trading today, possibly pushing indices down further.IFAonline
Lasting power of attorney
Three risk profiles
Caused by falling oil price
Roger Marsden takes over on interim basis
Will face 'appropriate action'