Poor US Employment Data Sending Dismayed London Stocks in to Freefall

The Birmingham Post (England), August 7, 2004 | Go to article overview

Poor US Employment Data Sending Dismayed London Stocks in to Freefall


Disappointing jobs data from across the Atlantic sent London shares into freefall yesterday.

The FTSE 100 Index ended the day 75 1 /2 points lower at 4337.9 as dismay at New York and record oil prices dragged most stocks into the red.

Banking stocks had brought some support earlier in the session amid speculation of a bid for Barclays, but these gains were eroded as the day went on. Lower-than-expected jobs figures from the US left the Dow Jones 80 points lower by the end of trading in London and this had a knock-on effect at home. After climbing as much as ten per cent earlier on, shares in Barclays closed nearly four per cent higher after rumours gripped the London market that a bid may be on the cards. Shares advanced 18 3 /4p to 500p and were at the top of the Footsie risers list for most of the day.

Barclays was followed by Lloyds TSB, which added 3 3 /4p to 420 3 /4p, and Alliance & Leicester, up 4p to 861p.

Strong half-year results from Bradford & Bingley, which posted a five per cent rise in half-year profits to pounds 140 million, lifted the group 2 1 /4p to 271 1 /2p.

But most other stocks failed to make it into positive territory, with British Airways once again one of the biggest casualties of the oil price hike as shares slipped 13 3 /4p to 213p. …

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