Lacklustre start for FTSE

Lacklustre start for FTSE

Disappointment over a weaker-than-expected US manufacturing report kept investors on the sidelines as London’s lacklustre week continued.

Activity in the US manufacturing sector shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, fuelling speculation that businesses are curbing investment on fears over the fiscal cliff deadline of January 1.

There was little movement in the FTSE 100 Index, which closed four points higher on Monday night and was 1.5 points lower at 5869.7 today.

Worries about stagnation in the US economy meant New York-listed oil prices dropped below 89 US dollars a barrel.

Financial stocks did their best to prop up London’s top flight, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 3p to 295.65p, Lloyds Banking Group 0.4p higher at 46.2p and insurer Aviva 3.1p stronger at 353.9p.

In a quiet session for corporate results, holiday company TUI Travel made headway after reporting an 8% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £390 million for the year to September 30.

Chief executive Peter Long said the year had been one of “many successes”, with holidays targeted at couples and those looking for luxury all-inclusive resorts driving the record performance.

Shares were 5.8p higher at 274.8p, a rise of 2%.

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