FTSE up more than 1%

London's FTSE 100 Index slumped more than 1% today after US figures showed weaker-than-expected growth in the second quarter.

Stocks fell amid fears of a sluggish recovery for the world's biggest economy, with the Footsie closing down 55.9 points to 5258.

America's gross domestic product (GDP) data showed 2.4% annualised growth between April and June - slightly below the 2.5% forecast by the market - while revisions also showed the US had a deeper recession than first thought.

Wall Street's Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged almost 120 points on opening, although losses were soon pared back as investors saw positive signs in the economic report.

Analysts said there was some good news in the consumer savings rate, which could lead to higher spending in the coming months.

The pound strengthened to more than 1.57 against the dollar as the greenback took a hammering after the GDP data.

Sterling also rose 0.7% to €1.20.

In London, the corporate spotlight was on British Airways, which shrugged off a £250m (€300.75) hit from strikes and Iceland's volcanic ash cloud as investors chose to back signs of recovery.

Chief executive Willie Walsh's forecast of a break-even performance this year and improving passenger trends helped shares add 3.6p to 219.6p, or 2%, putting it among the top risers.

A clutch of utility stocks also defied the market falls after an infrastructure fund snapped up the UK's biggest electricity distribution network from EDF in a £5.8bn (€7bn) deal.

The bigger-than-expected price tag raised hopes of renewed appetite for UK assets and meant United Utilities rose 24.5p to 585p.

Water firm Severn Trent added 30p to 1310p, while in the FTSE 250 South West Water-owner Pennon added 12.5p to 590p.

The late session sell-off wiped out early gains for some stocks, with broadcaster BSkyB ending the day unchanged at 711p after rising more than 2.5p at one stage as Citigroup brokers upped their target price following yesterday's strong results.

Cruise ship giant Carnival also lost advances, down 6p to 2300p, despite positive broker comment as Bernstein analysts said there was too much caution over prospects for the sector.

Investment bank Investec was among the leading fallers as markets gave a lukewarm reception to its "satisfactory" performance during the first half of the year, leaving shares 12p down at 495p.

In the FTSE 250, broadband group TalkTalk eased 0.8p to 122.5p after net new broadband customers fell to 34,000 in the seasonally quieter first quarter of its year.

The firm hopes to boost revenues through a tie-up with Vodafone which will see it offer mobile phone services to its 4.2 million customers.

Elsewhere London taxi cab maker Manganese Bronze motored 15% higher, or 5.25p to 40p, as the company predicted tough markets for the rest of the year, but a return to profit in 2011 as the impact of a cost-saving drive kicks in.

The biggest Footsie risers were United Utilities up 24.5p to 585p, Severn Trent up 30p to 1310p, British Airways up 3.6p to 219.6p and Randgold Resources up 65p to 5730p.

The biggest Footsie fallers were Essar Energy down 14.8p to 414.1p, Legal & General down 2.6p to 89.6p, Man Group off 6.1p to 217.3p and Segro down 7.2p to 280p.

More on this topic

FTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weighFTSE 100 rebounds but trade war fears continue to weigh

FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017FTSE 100 ekes out another record high in last full trading day of 2017

FTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdownFTSE plummets 5% amid China slowdown

Gains for European marketsGains for European markets

More in this Section

British pub group Wetherspoon bullish on Irish growth targetsBritish pub group Wetherspoon bullish on Irish growth targets

Trump warns of car tariffsTrump warns of car tariffs

Tesla stock market value climbs above VW's €90bnTesla stock market value climbs above VW's €90bn

Airlines scramble to secure simulators for when 737 Max finally returnsAirlines scramble to secure simulators for when 737 Max finally returns


Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner