August 27, 2008

Recovering Shares Help Lift Some of FTSE Gloom

By Editor Sion Barry

A VOLATILE session for the FTSE 100 Index saw blue chips clawback the worst of their losses yesterday as a bright start on Wall Street cheered investors.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2% on Monday amid concerns over financial stocks, but signs the worst may be over for the ailing US housing market and better than expected consumer confidence data helped shares make early ground across the Atlantic.

The Footsie - more than 130 points lower at one point - finished 34.9 points lower at 5470.7.

Lower metal prices meant a poor session for heavyweight miners and petrochemical stocks, while the fortunes of petrochemical firms fluctuated in line with oil prices.

In London, heavyweight miner Rio Tinto posted a 55% rise in half- year earnings but shares fell 29p to 5150p amid weakness in the mining sector.

Ferrexpo, the Footsie's leading faller, slipped almost 9% or 23.5p to 244.5p, while Kazakhmys shed 47p to 1321p as the duo - both with major Russian interests - fell on political tensions in the region.

Oil-facing firms were initially on weaker ground thanks to crude prices below EUR113 but concerns over the potential impact of Hurricane Gustav in the Gulf ofMexico pushed the price back up to nearly EUR117 a barrel by the close.

This helped the likes of BG Group, which slipped 27p to 1164p, make up some ground lost earlier.

The leading Footsie risers were Liberty International up 50.5p to 995.5p, Next ahead 21p to 1043p, and WPP ahead 15p at 506.5p,.

The four worst performers were Johnson Matthey off 55p at 1530p, Ferrexpo down 23.5p to 244.5p, and Johnson Matthey off 55p at 1530p.

Companies reporting results this week include:


Finals: Hargreaves Lansdown

Interims: 1st Dental Laboratories, Antofagasta, Brit Insurance, Chime Communications, Ennstone, G4S, Independent News & Media, Johnston Press, Kingspan, Lookers,, Paddy Power, Petrofac, Serco, Segro, Stadium, Taylor Nelson Sofres, Taylor Wimpey, Yule Catto


Finals: Diageo, Haynes Publishing

Interims: 888 Holdings, Aegis, Amec, Avis Europe, BBA Aviation, Carillion, Cattles, Charter, Corin, Devro, Filtrona, Forth Ports, Havelock Europa, Henderson, Henry Boot, Heywood Williams, Hunting, IMI, IP, Macfarlane, Melrose Resources, MWB, Pendragon, Pinewood Shepperton, Premier Foods, Savills, SkyePharma, SMG, Styles & Wood, UK Coal

AGM: Berkeley


Interims: Aga Foodservice, Bloomsbury Publishing, Bradford & Bingley, Brammer, British Polythene Industries, Cadogan Petroleum, Chesnara, Davis Service, Derwent London, Development Securities, Marshalls, PartyGaming, Restaurant Group, Robert Walters, Rightmove, T Clarke, Trafficmaster, Unite

AGM: Stagecoach

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