Reliance on US business has set many of the biggest FTSE stocks down today as the dollar again fell to new lows, helping the index shed 11.90 points to 4,741.50 - even as US stocks trading in New York gained from the expected increase in exports from that country.
GlaxoSmithKline fell 15p to 1,120 on the news, which means profit from sales in its biggest market will drop in sterling terms.
BP dropped 5.5p to 542p.
BHP Billiton fell 4p to 616p even as Arcelor, the world’s biggest steel maker, said it expected coking coal prices to rise 80% in 2005. Miners price their commodities in dollars on the global market, which means a falling dollar hurts profit in terms of other currencies, while increasing costs that have to be paid in local currencies such as the rand.
Sainsbury gained 2.25p to 264.25p after consumer groups urged regulators to limit further consolidation in the UK supermarket sector to protect food producers and encourage competition. Sainsbury reported its first ever loss last week, while competitor Tesco shares hit a 16-year peak this week on quarterly results.
Tesco fell 3.25p to 305.5p.
Markets are up in the US after the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is up about 12 points to 10,533.IFAonline
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