London's main index is down by around 11 points to 4,393 so far today as almost seven in 10 of the FTSE 100's stocks have dropped.
BSkyB is down 8.5p to 758.5p - even as the company promises to pay a dividend for the first time since 1998 - after second quarter profit tripled on the same period last year.
AstraZenica is down 42p to 2,612p after one of its biggest institutional investors said it was selling shares equivalent to 1.2% of the company in order to reduce its exposure to the pharmaceutical sector.
Vodafone shed 1p to 132.75p as the company’s executives continued plans to spend up to $30bn taking over one of the US’ biggest mobile network operators. This is despite objections from Vodafone’s own shareholders, who thought such grand takeover activities stopped with the departure of former chief executive Chris Gent.
BAE Systems gained 5.5p to 167p after analysts at Merrill Lynch upped their recommendation to ‘buy’ on the back of a falling share price.
Rolls Royce added 3p to 187.25p as other defence related stocks followed suit.
GKN gained 3.25p to 265.25p.
Yell, the yellow pages publisher, rose 2.5p to 329.75p after reporting a third-quarter profit compared to a loss at the same time last year.
Alliance & Leicester gained 7p to 883.5p on an upgraded recommendation from JPMorgan.
Reckitt Benckiser rose 6p to 1,328p after predicting 2004 sales will increase by at least 10%.
The FTSE 250 index is up about 9 points to 6,127.
Eurotunnel leads the gainers after rebounding 2.5p or almost 8.5% to 32p from a recent drubbing.
Brambles is down 1.25p to 205p for a second day of falls following Monday’s jump on news of an institutional investors building a stake.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index gained 34.82 points to 10,613.85, while the S&P 500 index added 5.73 points to 1,145.54. Nasdaq’s Composite index added 14.76 points to 2,075.33 despite new fears of security flaws in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.IFAonline
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