FTSE falls back in morning trading

The London market was in lacklustre form today as the downbeat mood across the Atlantic last night rubbed off on traders.

The London market was in lacklustre form today as the downbeat mood across the Atlantic last night rubbed off on traders.

By mid-morning the FTSE 100 Index stood 1.5 points lower at 4715.1 after trading within a narrow range since the start of the session.

In London directories group Yell topped the Footsie risers, putting on 4% or 14.5p to 384.5p, after reporting half-year profits of £85.6m (€122m) against pre-tax losses of £109.7m (€157m) a year ago.

Troubled retailer Marks & Spencer was in negative territory, down 2.25p to 350.5p, after it announced profits of £292.7m (€420m) for the six months to October 2, compared with £325.1m (€466m) a year earlier. Chief executive Stuart Rose said the business required “radical change”.

Banking stocks were among the heaviest fallers, led by Abbey National, which weakened 8.5p to 627p as it prepares for a takeover by Spain’s largest bank. Other losers in the sector included Lloyds TSB, off 2p to 430.75p.

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