MOBILE phone giant Vodafone was under pressure today after revealing its first drop in revenues for 10 quarters in a disappointing set of half-year figures.
Shares in the blue chip heavyweight fell more than 2% as it reported interim losses of £492m and a £6m writedown on its Spanish and Italian operations.
The wider FTSE 100 Index staged a late session turnaround – closing up 19 points at 5786.3 – after early session gains on Wall Street helped offset uncertainty over a deal to rescue the Greek economy.
Stock markets had sunk into the red amid investor concerns surrounding yesterday’s agreement from Greece’s creditors to give the country two additional years – until 2016 – to make changes to its economy.
But investor confidence returned as better-than-expected figures from US firm Home Depot sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher in early trading.
In London, inflation figures for October were also in sharp focus after the Consumer Prices Index leapt to a higher-than-expected 2.7%.
This helped strengthen the pound, with sterling up at 1.59 US dollars and 1.25 euros.
Energy companies joined Vodafone on the FTSE 100 fallers board after German electricity and gas supplier E.ON lowered its earnings forecast for next year because of economic conditions and changes in the energy industry.
There were also revelations that the City watchdog is investigating claims by a whistleblower that Britain’s £300bn wholesale gas market has been manipulated.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were ITV up 7.8p to 94.6p, Lloyds Banking Group ahead 1.4p to 46.5p, Meggitt 7.9p higher at 374.1p and Prudential up 16.5p to 865.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Anglo American down 57.5p to 1770p, Centrica off 8.8p to 310.8p, Vodafone 4.1p lower at 162.5p and Polymetal International down 24p to 1125p.