LONDON’S blue chip share index struggled to make headway today as markets trod water ahead of earnings updates from a raft of Wall Street giants.
The FTSE 100 Index – which yesterday hit its highest level for more than four years in intraday trading – edged up 9.5 points to close at 6117.3.
America’s Dow Jones Industrial Average opened lower, despite figures showing US consumer spending increased in December. Investors on both sides of the Atlantic chose to stay on the sidelines as they await full-year figures from JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs later this week, with Chinese gross domestic product data also due out on Friday.
Meanwhile there was little reaction in the market from UK inflation figures, with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate unchanged for the third month in a row at 2.7% in December.
The pound, which has weakened in recent days, held firm today at 1.61 US dollars and 1.21 euros after the inflation data came in as expected.
Among stocks, upmarket fashion label Burberry was the biggest riser in the top flight after its latest sales figures comfortably beat City forecasts.
Chip designer Arm Holdings was one of the biggest top flight fallers after broker Morgan Stanley cooled expectations for further strong growth in the share price, which has risen by 9% this year, including today’s fall of 32p to 841p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Burberry Group up 61p to 1386p, Pearson ahead 39p to 1221p, BG Group 25.5p higher at 1073.5p and Associated British Foods up 32p to 1532p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Anglo American down 75.5p to 1961p, Arm Holdings off 32p to 841p, Royal Bank of Scotland 10.4p lower at 354.1p and Polymetal International down 32p to 1104p.