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September 11, 2006

London markets lower amid low volumes

Permalink: London markets lower amid low volumes
by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets saw declines on Monday as oil and miners were both lower on declining prices. The FTSE 100 dropped 0.5 percent to 5,850.8, while the FTSE 250 was 0.9 percent lower to 9,523.1. Volume was low, with only 2 billion shares trading hands.

The oil sector was down as crude oil prices continued to decline. BP ended the session at 583p, 1.3 percent lower, while BG Group dropped 2.6 percent to 659½p. Among mid-cap oil companies, JKX Oil & Gas declined 6.8 percent to 258¼p.

Miners were lower as well, as investors continued to worry that interest rates in China would be raised in order to slow growth there. BHP Billiton was 4.9 percent lower to 934p, Vedanta Resources dropped 6.2 percent to £12.39, and Aquarius Platinum fell 10.1 percent to 841½p.

In the retail sector, Next was 1.1 percent lower to £17.09 on doubts that rumors on Friday that private equity firms were interested in bidding would end up producing anything concrete.

The telecommunications sector did better on the session. Vodafone, with its Vodafone Italia division its second most lucrative asset, was 1.9 percent higher to 114¾p on the news that Telecom Italia’s board had met to consider restructuring that could include the sale of its wireless business. BT Group added 1.9 percent to 253¼p after it won a contract to provide Vodafone’s UK customers with broadband internet. Cable & Wireless, which was also in the running for the Vodafone contract, was still up 0.2 percent to 125½p.



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