FTSE 100 closes down a wisp

31-07-2008

FTSE 100 closes down a wisp
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.01 per cent to 5420.30 after a mixed day of results left the index largely unmoved.

Publisher Reed Elsevier was up 7.54 per cent after the firm put aside investors fears to state it was on tack to meet targets for 2008 after first half profits beat expectations.

Miners Eurasian and Kazakhmys continued their role as a backbone for the index up 6.53 per cent and 6.27 per cent respectively, while Tullow Oil rose 4.51 per cent.

HBOS rose 5.16 per cent, despite announcing a 72 per cent fall in profits.

BT fell 10.17 per cent to 177.50p after posting an income fall, while Unilever was down 7.35 per cent after revealing flat sales.

Brewer SABMiller was down 5.08 per cent, Cadbury dropped 4.60 per cent and Next continued to suffer from its cautious outlook, dropping 4.57 per cent.

However, the biggest news of the day was the release of US GDP data.

David Jones, at spreadbetting firm IG Index, said: "The afternoon has been all about the USA – the GDP figures released at 13:30 UK time showed that the growth in the last quarter was positive but worse than what the market was expecting.

"A revision to the final number from the end of 2007 showed that GDP back then was actually negative.

"This double whammy has raised the recession worries again for America – and the numbers this time around could be said to be somewhat artificially polished up by the Federal Reserve’s tax rebate. The concern is that further deterioration in the housing market and overall economy is going to weigh on GDP figures later in the year, leaving today’s number looking like something of an over optimistic blip. "

He added US employment data tomorrow would point to whether the FTSE would breach the 5,500 level.


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