Financials lower in London

| October 19, 2006 | 0 Comments

London equities markets were lower on Thursday, mainly on declines in financial sectors. The FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent to 6,136.5. Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 18.6 points lower to 10,323.1.

Losers among financial institutions included HSBC, down 0.8 percent to £10.05. Also lower were Northern Rock, which fell 0.9 percent to £11.91 and Bradford & Bingley, 1.5 percent lower to 466p. Alliance & Leicester dropped 1.8 percent to £11.09. Ironically, life assurer Prudential, which sent the sector lower when it blamed its predicted losses in the second half on a loss in its internet bank, Egg, itself added 0.9 percent on the day to 635p.

In the tobacco sector, Imperial Tobacco was 0.4 percent lower to £18.24 on a downgrade from “buy” to “neutral” from Goldman Sachs.

The oil sector was lower even in the face of expected cuts in production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies. Royal Dutch Shell dropped 0.6 percent to £18.14, while BP fell 1 percent to 595p.

Vodafone declined 0.6 percent to 128p on news from the European telecommunications sector. Nokia was down on the session, and there were worries that an offer from Telefonica to not charge for incoming calls to customers traveling in Europe could set off a tariff war.

The pharmaceuticals sector saw advances as GlaxoSmithKline added 1 percent to £14.90 and AstraZeneca was 1.5 percent higher to £34.74, its highest share price in nearly five years.

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