Footsie slides into negative territory

The FTSE 100 Index is down 21.6 at 5113.7 at lunchtime.

The FTSE 100 Index is down 21.6 at 5113.7 at lunchtime.

Banking stocks are down after Barclays - itself off 4% or 24p at 596p - warned of higher costs and bad debt provisions in a statement ahead of its interim results in August.

Royal Bank of Scotland is down 33p to £19.70; Lloyds TSB is 11p lower at 739p; HBOS is down 12½p at 819½p; Standard Chartered has eased 9p to 809p; and HSBC is off 4½p at 839p.

The Footsie had made a 32 point gain in early trading as the City welcomed Vodafone's figures, despite huge bottom-line losses after the group incurred massive charges.

Investors focused on Vodafone's underlying performance, which showed strong profits growth before the one-off costs, but its share price is now up just 1¼p at 106¼p - having gained 7% at one stage.

Rival mmO2, which also surged during early trading, is now up just ¾p at 49¼p.

Sainsbury's is down 4p at 366¾p ahead of its annual results tomorrow; Safeway is down 6½p at 298½p; Morrisons has eased 6p to 220p; Tesco is down 3½p to 246p; and Marks & Spencer is off 5p at 386½p.

Durex condoms to Scholl footwear group SSL International is down 3% or 13½p to 377½p after reporting sharply lower full-year profits following action to solve problems with excess stocks.

But Hull-based Kingston Communications is up 1% or ¾p to 90p after saying it had enjoyed a 'solid' performance in the last year and was well placed to maintain growth.

New Look jumped 3% or 7½p to 273p after showing it had turned around its business, revamping its product and revitalising stores.

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