Dow Dips below 10,000 but Footsie Manages to Cling on to Gains
London shares clung on to positive territory yesterday to complete a lacklustre week only marginally down on its starting point.
The FTSE-100's modest gain of 16.3 points to 4347.6 was achieved despite a disappointing start to trading in New York, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated back below the 10,000 barrier. Corporate news in London did little to stir buying interest, with only Bradford & Bingley among blue-chip companies to make an announcement. The former building society said it was on course to meet annual profits expectations and added it had secured a fresh deal with the lending arm of General Motors to buy a mortgage book worth pounds 1.4 billion.
B&B shares initially rose, but later closed unchanged at 300.5p -despite providing impetus to rival mortgage-based banks Abbey National, up 1.75p to 527.75p, and Halifax owner HBOS, ahead 7.5p at 707.5p.
Others risers in the banking sector included Alliance & Leicester, ahead 10p at 884p, and Royal Bank of Scotland -13p stronger at 1602p. Insurers had earlier profited from the strong start, although only Prudential -6.75p higher at 462.75p -completed the session with a significant improvement. Telecoms stocks managed to hold on to gains with Vodafone 1. …