Footsie overshadowed by rates speculation

Blue-chip stocks are under pressure again as the FTSE-100 Index entered the second quarter of the year with a loss of 47.7 points.

Blue-chip stocks are under pressure again as the FTSE-100 Index entered the second quarter of the year with a loss of 47.7 points.

It now stands at 5586, wiping out much of the headway made prior to the weekend.

On a light day for trading, the decision by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee later this week appeared to be on the minds of most City traders.

A reduction of the base rate to 5.5% is seen by many experts as necessary to prevent the economic slowdown in the US and Japan damaging the UK.

Railtrack has fallen by close to 6%, or 40½p to 646½p. Although it received an early release of £1.5bn of Government funding it won't build phase two of the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link.

The general weakness in tech stocks is also continuing with CMG and Logica both down. CMG is off 29p at 570½p, while Logica has fallen 21p at 969p. Misys is also off, falling 17p to 487p, as is Sage, which drifted a further 9p to 238p.

With little corporate news to direct the market, Imperial Tobacco gained 16p to 694p after announcing a £179m deal for Tobaccor, a French-based group with a substantial market in Africa and Asia.

Stagecoach is also up, ahead 4%, or 2¼p to 59¼p after being awarded the South West Trains franchise by the Strategic Rail Authority.

Outside the Footsie, Premiership champions Manchester United have risen 8%, or 13p to 185p after reporting a 30% jump in pre-tax profits for the first half of its financial year.

But Moss Bros has plunged by 12%, or 4p to 28½p, after full-year figures showed it had made a pre-tax loss of £17.5m.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up