Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blue-Chips Suffer asUS Ripples Cross the Pond

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blue-Chips Suffer asUS Ripples Cross the Pond

Article excerpt


WILD share price swings on Wall Street sent jitters through the London market today. The Footsie responded with a fallout in blue-chip share prices for the fourth consecutive session. But fears of a panic sell-off proved to be unfounded despite market volume being larger than normal at 1.8 billion shares.

Once again the twin probes by US regulators in Quest Communications and pharmaceuticals giant Bristol-Myers Squibb continued to depress Wall Street as more rumours of corporate scandals circulated on both sides of the Atlantic. The London market had anticipated the decline from the outset falling 54 points after just two minutes of trading. But within 20 minutes of Wall Street opening this afternoon the FTSE 100 had fallen to an intra day five-andahalf year low, tumbling more than 166 points.

What did worry London was the extreme volatility of Wall Street as it seesawed down 113 points and up 40. London remained depressed to the tune of 107.9 points at 4312.2. All the other indices were in negative territory with double digit setbacks.

The general advice to investors about the London market appeared to be: "If you are in it, sit it out. If you are not in it, sit it out."

Royal & Sun Alliance, down 213/4p to 211p, led the blue-chip fallers, closely followed by 3i Group which tumbled 431/2p to 589p.

Aviva suffered a 32p setback to 430p.

Pharmaceuticals were also in the wars, led down by AstraZeneca, off 76p to 2389p, with GlaxoSmithKline 52p lower at 1217p and Shire Pharamceuticals down 191/2p to 557p.

Asset manager Amvescap, exposed as it is to the divng US equity market, was again among the blue-chip losers, falling 12p to 448p. Fund manager Schroders, down 20p to 514p, suffered from the effect of depressed markets on this side of the Atlantic. …

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