FTSE slips as banks plan Europe-wide platform

A plan by seven leading investment banks to set up a Europe-wide share-trading platform put pressure on shares in the London Stock Exchange today.

A plan by seven leading investment banks to set up a Europe-wide share-trading platform put pressure on shares in the London Stock Exchange today.

The stock slipped 8% in the FTSE 250 Index, offsetting a promising session for the rest of the London market after a gain of 26.7 points for the FTSE 100 to 6213.3 mid-morning.

Vodafone was among the top-flight risers, up 3.5p to 139p, as investors sensed the prospect of stronger trading following half-year figures yesterday.

Financial services were in positive territory after a broker upgrade for Old Mutual, which stood 4.25p higher at 176.5p. Royal & Sun Alliance lifted 4p to 152.25p while Friends Provident was up 4p at 217p.

Another busy session for corporate results brought disappointment for Sainsbury’s shareholders, even though the retailer continued on its recovery path with a 123% rise in half-year profits to £194m (€286.2m).

Shares eased 2.25p to 410.25p, as Sainsbury’s said it expected further fierce competition, a point highlighted by strengthening figures from Asda yesterday.

B&Q owner Kingfisher led the fallers board with a drop of 9.5p to 262.25p. The decline came after a broker downgrade from UBS.

Platinum mining group Lonmin was down 80p to 3001p after the company posted full-year figures and announced an offer to buy South Africa’s AfriOre.

In the second tier, the LSE fell 108p to 1200p, while nightclub operator Luminar cheered 49p to 663p after detailing a stronger trading performance, alongside plans to divest its entertainment division, which includes Chicago Rock Café.

Recruitment company Hays lifted 7.25p to 158.5p after a statement ahead of its annual meeting pointed to rising rates of fees growth. Michael Page International, which also operates in the sector, gained 26.25p to 439p after benefiting from a broker upgrade.

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