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September 13, 2006    

FTSE 100 down in London

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by Elaine Frei

The London equities markets were mixed on Wednesday. While the FTSE 100 lost early gains to end the session 0.1 percent lower to 5,892.2, the FTSE 250 added 0.6 percent to 9,669.2.

The leisure tours and travel sector was lower on the session. First Choice Holidays was down by 3.9 percent to 208¼p. Meanwhile, My Travel Group dropped 6.3 percent to 188p, for the 250’s biggest loss on the session, after issuing a profits warning. In addition, UBS put 13 million shares of My Travel Group up for sale for an institutional client.

Retailers saw gains, however. Next added 7.6 percent to £18.34, a new record high for the clothing retailer, on the news that its half-year report exceeded analyst expectations. This news also helped Marks & Spencer, which gained 2.6 percent to 611p.

Also ahead on the day was AWG, Anglian Water’s parent company, which was 3.3 percent higher to £13.62 on bids rumors. ICI gained 0.7 percent to 378¼p after there was talk that it could be considering a bid for rival specialty chemicals company Clariant.

Cable & Wireless added 1.2 percent to 128½p in anticipation of good news from its international division in a report due next week.

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