Heavy losses for Lloyds as wider FTSE closes down

Lloyds was the biggest faller on London’s leading shares index today after it suffered a £3.5bn (€4.12bn) loss and warned of further problems ahead.

Heavy losses for Lloyds as wider FTSE closes down

Lloyds was the biggest faller on London’s leading shares index today after it suffered a £3.5bn (€4.12bn) loss and warned of further problems ahead.

The taxpayer-backed bank saw shares slip 2%, 0.8p to 35.7p, after boss Antonio Horta-Osorio said income related targets would be delayed as the bank comes under pressure from a weak economy and heavier regulation.

The FTSE 100 Index fell 2.8 points to 5935.1, with Royal Bank of Scotland, which yesterday reported losses of £2bn, and HSBC also in the red, off 0.2p at 28.5p and 0.5p at 574.9p respectively.

But Barclays bucked the trend and added 6.7p at 247.7p.

Germany’s Dax, France’s Cac-40 and the US’s Dow Jones Industrial Average were all ahead as the London market closed.

Wall Street was boosted after a closely watched consumer confidence survey came in higher than expected in another signal that the world’s largest economy is staging a recovery. However, an unexpected fall in home sales blurred the picture, and held back further gains.

The pound rose on currency markets after recent falls, and was up against the dollar and euro at 1.59 and 1.18 respectively.

The personal and home care sector took a pounding after Gillette to Head & Shoulders giant Procter & Gamble shook traders’ confidence as it announced a $10bn (€7.4bn) cost saving plan.

Dove to Lynx firm Unilever was near the top of the fallers board, sliding 2% or 40p to 2050p, while Clearasil to Dettol group Reckitt Benckiser fell 79p to 3421p.

Elsewhere in the top flight, shares in shopping centre owner Hammerson were 4% or 14.4p higher at 400.1p after it posted better than expected results, including a 2.5% rise in like-for-like net rental income in 2011.

The group, whose portfolio includes the Bullring in Birmingham and The Oracle in Reading, pleased investors by announcing plans to sell its office portfolio and focus on its large purpose-built retail developments, which continue to attract strong footfall with shoppers.

But outside the top flight, bookmaker William Hill was down by more than 1% after its retail arm revealed a 4% slide in profits to £196.8m.

Shares fell 3p to 230.5p despite overall profits increasing 9% to £239.4m, including a 17% rise in online betting profits to £106.8m.

Property website Rightmove fell on the FTSE 250 Index after managing director Ed Williams said that the property market in 2012 is likely to remain flat, as it did in 2011.

Rightmove posted a 23% rise in operating profits to £69.4m for 2011 but this was not enough to convince investors as shares dipped 4p to 1336p.

The biggest Footsie risers were Vedanta Resources up 65p at 1500p, Evraz ahead 17.4p at 415p, Man Group up 5.4p at 134.4p, Capita ahead 29.5p at 747.5p.

The biggest Footsie fallers were Lloyds down 0.8p at 35.7p, Reckitt Benckiser off 79p at 3421p, Randgold Resources down 165p at 7335p, and Unilever off 40p at 2050p.

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