London markets lower on sell-offs

| September 22, 2006 | 0 Comments

The UK equities markets were lower on Friday, hurt by Thursday’s losses in New York and concerns that the US economy is cooling down. The FTSE 100 dropped 1.2 percent on Friday to 5,822.3, a decline of 55 points on the week. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 0.7 percent lower on the session to 9,784 but was off only 1.6 points for the week.

Brewer SABMiller fell 2.6 percent to 998p on data showing that a general decline in the volume of beer sold in the US is hurting its Miller brands more than others. Another factor in the decline was weakness in the South African rand. SABMiller does a substantial part of its business in South Africa.

The mining sector was especially hard hit by sell-offs on Friday as investors worried about how demand for commodities will be affected by the slowdown in the US economy. Xstrata was 2.7 percent lower to £21.13, while Anglo American fell 2.8 percent to £21.34 and BHP Billiton dropped 3.2 percent to 887p.

There were few gainers on the day. On the 250, MFI Furniture was 13.1 percent higher to 99p after it sold its retail division, which had been seeing losses. On the 100, there were just two stocks with gains on the day. Building materials group Hanson added 0.7 percent to 680½p as talk continued that Mexican company Cemex is considering a bid. The other blue-chip gainer was Brambles Industries. The pallet supplier gained 2.5 percent to 468½p.

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