Stimulus fears stall FTSE 100

Investors stuck to the sidelines today as evidence of a strengthening US job markets fuelled expectations that policymakers will cool stimulus efforts.

Investors stuck to the sidelines today as evidence of a strengthening US job markets fuelled expectations that policymakers will cool stimulus efforts.

The FTSE 100 Index was down 10.3 points at 6522.3, having risen by 58 points on Thursday due to optimism over the global economic recovery.

This reflected figures showing the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits was close to a five-year low.

However, today’s non-farm payroll figures will be the last significant economic data before the US Federal Reserve decides whether or not to pull back on its massive quantitative easing programme.

This was enough to cause a retreat for some leading mining shares, with Anglo American down 24.75p at 1546.25p and BHP Billiton off 17.5p at 1895p.

B&Q owner Kingfisher was among other fallers, off 5.2p to 400.6p, after a broker downgrade.

Outside the top flight, inter-dealer broker ICAP was down by more than 1% amid reports that it is close to an agreement with regulators over its alleged involvement in the Libor-rigging scandal. Shares were down 5p at 394.8p.

The biggest riser in the FTSE 250 Index was Thomas Cook as sentiment towards travel companies improved following the shock profits warning from Ryanair earlier in the week. Shares lifted 6.7p to 145.4p.

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