FTSE investors adopt wait-and-see stance

The FTSE 100 Index struggled for direction today as investors assessed signs of what to expect from the G20 Summit.

Trading was thinner on the ground today as the City shut up shop in anticipation of widespread protests ahead of the meeting in London as world leaders gather to try and agree on a solution to the global economic crisis. The FTSE was down 26.1 points at 3900 by mid-morning after yesterday’s 4% rise.

US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have already held talks ahead of tomorrow’s G20 summit.

But analysts are concerned that the cracks are already beginning to show after France and Germany spoke up against the UK and US pro-stimulus agenda.

This has caused fears that the much-touted meeting will have little to offer by way of a solution to the world’s pressing economic problems.

The mood provided a mixed result for financial stocks, with Lloyds Banking Group a chief faller. Shares slid 2.5p to 68.3p.

But HSBC climbed the leaders’ board with a 3% hike. The bank was up 12.25p at 407.25p. Barclays was also on the up, rising 1.9p to 149.9p.

Retailers experienced a boost, as yesterday’s better than expected sales figures from retail giant Marks & Spencer continued to lift spirits. Marks rose 6.5p to 302.5p.

Homebase owner Home Retail Group led the risers, up 9.25p at 234p while Next was ahead 23p to 1347p.

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