The FTSE 100 ended trading today on a decline with a drop of 30.4 points, or 0.56%, to 5,439.6, thanks to a poor performance from Vodafone, although a rise in the US markets pulled back some of the losses.
Vodafone dropped 15.75p, or 10.86%, to 129.25, despite increasing its share purchase target by £2bn to £6.5bn for the year to March 2006, after pre-tax profits fell from £4.54bn to £4.11bn in the half-year to September.
BT also slipped 1.69% to 203.5p in sympathy with Vodafone, along with Cable & Wireless which declined 3.04% to 119.5p.
Diageo fell 26.5p, or 3.07%, to 836p, despite reiterating its expectations for its full-year are unchanged. Previous statements have indicated it expects underlying sales to rise 4% and operating profits to increase 7% in its year to June 2006.
Meanwhile, Old Mutual continued to push higher with a rise of 2.5p, or 1.78%, to 143p, following Skandia’s better than expected third quarter numbers as analysts hope the South Africa-based insurer will win its bid for its Swedish rival.
Elsewhere, PartyGaming went to the top of the leader board with a rise of 2.25p, or 2.41%, while Yell also gave a good performance ending up 1.59% to 510p.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average has advanced 16.81 points, or 0.16%, to 10,713.98, despite a disappointing sales forecast from Target.
Target has slipped $4.52, or 7.7%, to $53.91, after the company said sales growth at stores open at least a year in November may be below its forecast of 4% to 6%. Best Buy, the top US electronics retailer, has also retreated $1.81 to $44.69.
But not all retailers have declined, as Amazon.com has jumped $2.51 to $45.04, while AT&T shares have also added $0.05 to $19.96.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has risen $2.19, or 3.6%, to $62.70 for the best performance in the Dow average so far, while Guidant has jumped $4.78, or 8.3%, to $62.53, after J&J said it will pay $63.08 a share for Guidant, after a series of recalls and investigations of Guidant's heartbeat-regulating products. J&J had originally agreed to pay $76 a share for the world's No. 2 maker of implantable defibrillators.IFAonline
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