Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Retail Sales Figures Dampen a Bright Start

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Retail Sales Figures Dampen a Bright Start

Article excerpt

Byline: Carmen Baylis

TRADERS' attention was once again on economic announcements. Reports suggested that Monday's figure for GDP growth, which came in at 0.1% for the fourth quarter of 2009, may understate the actual level of growth in the UK economy.

Any positive sentiment this may have garnered among investors was promptly dampened with the news that UK retail sales volumes dropped in January. The poor weather and increase in VAT are thought to be to blame.

Negative sentiment was compounded by the news from the US that new home sales figures were disappointing. Single-family home sales fell 7.6% in December which compared unfavourably with economists' expectations of a 2.8% increase.

The FTSE 100 Index dropped 59.4 points to end the session at 5217.5. Wall Street was also in the red as markets closed here in the UK ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's interest rate announcement.

Miners continued to weigh on the FTSE 100 Index yesterday due to the fall in soft base metals prices. …

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