FTSE recovers after poor start

The FTSE 100 Index pulled out of its tailspin today after earlier diving below the 4000 barrier.

The FTSE 100 Index pulled out of its tailspin today after earlier diving below the 4000 barrier.

Commodity and financial stocks initially suffered a further sell-off after fears of a deep global recession caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close 7.7% lower and Tokyo’s Nikkei index to shed more than 6%.

But most of the decline was accounted for in London’s 5% slump on Monday, meaning the FTSE later stood 27.7 points higher at 4093.2 by mid-morning.

The mood was helped by expectations for a positive start to trading on Wall Street later in the day.

A number of mining stocks recovered from their battering on Monday and earlier on today, with Vedanta Resources up 11% or 56.5p at 572.5p and Antofagasta ahead 27p at 428.75p.

Supermarket chain Tesco was the market’s main success story after third quarter trading figures, including 2% growth in UK like-for-like sales, reassured the City. Shares raced ahead 8% or 23.7p to 311.7p as analysts reacted to signs that Tesco was so far managing to fend off its discount rivals.

Game Group experienced fluctuating fortunes after reporting further like-for-like sales growth, albeit at a much weaker rate to earlier in the year. Game shares opened lower, then recovered to show a 5% gain before settling 1% or 1.75p lower at 148.5p.

JD Sports Fashion also reported slower sales, but shares in the high street trader were barely affected – down 0.75p to 229p – as the downturn had been well flagged in advance.

There was no such relief for pubs chain Greene King after it said half-year profits fell 15% and it forecast further sales pressure in the New Year. Shares were down 5% or 19.5p to 364p, while Punch Taverns was off 6.75p at 99.5p.

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