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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 12, 2006

London markets lower on quiet day


by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets were lower on Monday, as the FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.6 percent to 4,620.9 and the FTSE 250 closed at 8.981.2, a decline of 0.5 percent.

Worry over a vote in the US House of Representatives coming up this week on a bill that would make gambling on the internet illegal in the United States sent shares in internet gaming companies lower on the day. PartyGaming dropped 1.95 percent to 113p and 888 Holdings lost 3 percent to 191p. Even with a “buy” recommendation from Canaccord, Empire Online lost 10.1 percent to 82p.

Homebuilders were mixed on the day. McCarthy & Stone was up 0.9 percent to 869p on rumors that it has had inquiries from two sets of private equity groups. However Crest Nicholson dropped 0.4 percent to 498p even though there have been indications that the 23.3 percent of the builder currently owned by Heron International might soon be sold.

Bid rumors were also circulating in the tobacco sector, as there was talk that Imperial Tobacco could be readying a bid for Franco-Spanish tobacco company Altadis. Imperial lost 0.5 percent to £16.36.

Telecommunications company Vodafone lost 2.5 percent to 117½p as an attempt by shareholders to unseat the company’s chief executive seemed destined to fail.

British Airways, however, added 1.5 percent to 346½p as crude oil prices were down substantially when the first tropical storm of the season looked as if it would miss Gulf of Mexico oil production facilities.

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