LONDON’S top flight index failed to build on recent four-and-a-half year highs today as investors put on the handbrake ahead of major earnings reports.
Hopes that US politicians will reach a short-term deal on the government’s debt ceiling helped London’s blue chip index close at its highest level since May 2008 yesterday.
But the FTSE 100 Index closed down 1.8 points at 6179.2 today as investors waited for figures from the likes of IBM and Google, and before FTSE 100 companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and BSkyB, update the City next week.
In the currency markets the pound was up against the US dollar and the euro at 1.58 and 1.19 respectively, despite worse than expected public sector borrowing figures which stood at £15.4bn in December.
Japan’s pledge to take more aggressive steps to boost its economy failed to charge the markets.
Positive broker comment helped a number of FTSE 100 stocks today, with B&Q owner Kingfisher up 4.1p to 273p after Exane BNP Paribas said it was hopeful that this year will be a better one for the blue-chip company.
Outside the top flight, shares in grocery delivery chain Ocado jumped 6% after it said that former Marks & Spencer boss Sir Stuart Rose will become its new chairman in May.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were BG Group up 25.5p to 1145p, Randgold Resources ahead 110p to 6020p, Petrofac 30p higher at 1700p and Smiths Group up 21p to 1238p.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Fresnillo down 50p to 1725p, Carnival off 50p to 2563p, Polymetal International 20p lower at 1055p and Pearson down 21p to 1181p.