Four-week losing run shows Ftse woes

The London market ended the session by posting four straight weeks of losses, despite edging up yesterday.

Four-week losing run shows Ftse woes

The Ftse 100 index lifted 2.6 points to 6710.45, unmoved by news that EU leaders will hold an emergency summit about Greece’s debt crisis on Monday.

The top-flight moved away from five-month lows it hit earlier this week, but it still lost 1.1% over the last five sessions, a losing streak that began on May 25.

Greece’s woes helped the pound gain a cent against the euro, at €1.40. Sterling was flat against the US dollar at $1.59.

Equipment rental specialist Ashtead was a strong performer on the Ftse, rising almost 2%, or 20p to 1120p, boosted by recent broker upgrades.

Another strong riser was Hikma Pharmaceuticals up almost 3%, or 49p to 1944p, after a broker upgrade from Citi raising it to buy from neutral.

Heavyweight miners were fallers after broker reports forecast iron ore prices will fall this year due to lack of Chinese demand. The news knocked Glencore which fell 4.8p to 271.55p, Anglo American down 4.1p to 986.6p, and Fresnillo slipping 14.5p at 712.5p.

Budget airline easyJet lifted 23p to 1581p after it announced a strengthening of its Italian services. It said it would expand its bases at Milan Malpensa and Naples, and open a new operation in Venice from April 2016. As part of the same plan, it will reduce services at its Rome Fiumicino base.

Royal Bank of Scotland said it had resolved a glitch which delayed around 600,000 payments for customers, helping shares rise 2.3p to 349.6p.

The biggest risers on the Ftse yesterday were TUI up 33p at 1156p, Arm Holdings up 30p at 1118p, Hikma Pharmaceuticals up 49p at 1944p, and London Stock Exchange up 54p at 2404p.

The biggest fallers were Fresnillo, Glencore, Royal Mail down 6.5p at 502.5p, and Randgold Resources down 48p at 4498p.

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