07 Mar, 2008
Phil Cozens | 14:13:07 | 07 March 2008
(Update) The FTSE 100 index has plunged
through the psychological 5,700 level after another dismal session
in New York overnight following fresh jolts in the credit markets
and lacklustre retail sales, prompting renewed recession fears.
Wall Street was hit by the suspension of hedge fund Carlyle
Capital after failing to meet margin calls from some of its
lenders, new sales figures from leading retailers showing cash poor
shoppers are trading down and a spike in home mortgage foreclosures
to a record high.
By 9.45am the FTSE 100 index was 70 points down at 5,698, after
dropping to 5,663, while the Mid-250 index was 146 points weaker at
In Europe the German DAX was trailing 87 points down.
Mining and financials were among the worst performers.
Rio Tinto tumbled 214p to £55.93 as the group again rejected
the hostile offer from BHP Billiton, 65p easier at £16.15.
Anglo American at £33.35 and Lonmin £33.72 retreated
106p and 124p.
Barclays at 417p, Royal Bank of Scotland 330p, Man Group 543p and
Schroders 937p represented a dull banking sector with falls of 13p
Friends Provident slipped 5.4p to 116.1 as bid hopes faded, but
Resolution were supported at 693.5p in anticipation of early Pearl
Pub shares were overshadowed by a cautious statement and 13%
first-half profits setback from JD Wetherspoon, 30p easier at
281.75p with Enterprise Inns declining 21p to 392p in sympathy.
British Airways softened 3p to 242p on further consideration of
yesterday's warning on costs.
British Land at 933p, Cairn Energy £26.67, Imperial Tobacco
£23.38, Reckitt Benckiser £26.23, Severn Trent
£13.71 and Whitbread £12.30 were other major weak spots
with losses of between 25p and 60p.
Among the smaller caps Manganese Bronze stood out with a drop of
41.5p to 495p and widening losses knocked 3.62p, or 59%, from
Mission Capital at 2.5p.
A major OEM deal sustained Newport Networks at 1.83p, up 0.8p and
Chelford Group surged 36p to 208.5p following the agreed bid from
Favourable trading updates benefited Candover Investments at
£20.40 and Interquest 94p, up 5p and 8p.
Static full-year profits left Marshalls languishing at 251p, down
13p and acquisition news unsettled Thomas Cook at 289p, down 8p.
A 22.4% rise in February traffic did little for easyJet, 6.75p
lower at 403p.