It was an up and down session for the FTSE 100 today, as leading stocks threatened to push the index in the black late on. It finally closed 30.2 points down, or 0.45%, to 6614.30.
Johnson Matthey has lost some of the stellar gains made yesterday as speculation concerning its stock dies down. The advanced materials technology company finished 87 points lower, or 4.73%, to 1753.
Fashion retailer Next also struggled today, it fell 69 points, or 3.31%, to 2016; while Antofagasta dipped after a downgrade by Morgan Stanley – the mining giant closed the session on 829, a 24 point fall, or 2.81%.
Northern Rock typified the seesaw day for the index, the volatile stock started lower but then recovered as its directors fronted the Treasury Select Committee. The lender led the gains, up 7.25 points, or 3.35%, to 223.5.
Overall, financials struggled apart from Alliance & Leicester, which gained 21 points, or 2.79% to 775; while BG was higher on bid speculation and record crude prices, it finished 19 points up, or 2.12%, to 914.
Wall Street is down again in early trading as Federal Reserve boss Ben Bernanke noted weakness in the US housing market overnight. The Dow Jones is currently 44.55 points lower, or 0.32%, to 13940.25.
General Motors is slumping on news of a Bear Stearns downgrade, the carmaker is 1.4 points lower, or 3.41%, to 39.71. JP Morgan Chase is also struggling in New York this morning; the financial giant is currently 0.99 points down, or 2.14%, to 45.28.
Microsoft enjoyed an analyst upgrade today and is leading the gains at the moment; the software conglomerate is 0.41 points ahead, or 1.36%, to 30.46.
Hewlett Packard is sharing in a good morning for Tech firms, currently on 51.78 – a jump of 0.54 points, or 1.05%
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