Footsie suffers jitters in the wake of Iraqi flare-up

MARKET REPORT

It was a difficult session for shares with the Iraqi flare-up and worries about US interest rates producing, with a little help from the Deutche Morgan Grenfell funds fiasco, an acute bout of collywobbles.

At one time the FT-SE 100 index was nursing a 48.6 points fall and seemed destined to go even lower. But once New York got over initial hesitancy the stock market became more positive with the slide reduced to 28.5 (to 3,855.9) by the close.

The Iraqi confrontation put the spotlight on industries - largely airlines and hotels - which were savaged during the Gulf war when many travellers decided to stay at home.

British Airways, with the added worry of mounting pressure on its proposed American Airlines link, crash landed 12.5p to 512p. On the hotel front, Granada fell 16.5p to 849.5p, Bass 7.5p to 813.5p and Ladbroke 1p to 207.5p.

Oils lost some of their exuberance although crude prices continued to move ahead. Besides the increase in Middle Eastern tension, the United Nation's decision to postpone the food-for-oil deal, which would have allowed Iraq limited exporting opportunities, was again a influence in forcing the oil market higher.

Interest rate concerns were heightened by today's scheduled Ken and Eddie meeting. Despite the Chancellor's desire for lower rates it is thought he will for the time being bow to the more bearish stance of the Bank of England.

The near term direction of US rates could prove the decisive factor. The market is divided whether President Clinton will chance an increase ahead of the presidential election. If he does sit tight the Chancellor's room for manoeuvre is increased.

The latest fund management outcry prompted thoughts about a much tougher supervisory regime. If stories floating around about the composition of the suspended funds are true then portfolios had little relation to the apparent management guidelines.

British Biotech, rumoured to be one of the main investments, fell 3p to 218p (after 192.5p) and Stanford Rook, another alleged Morgan stock, gave up 12.5p to 472.5p.

On the surface it looked as though the market enjoyed a busy session. However, Government sales of National Power, PowerGen and Southern Electric helped swell volume. Through Goldman Sachs 28.5 million NP shares and 860,000 Southern went through and UBS handled the disposal of 17.1 million PG. The action dimmed the two generators, NP by 8p to 393p and PG by 8.5p to 495.5p but Southern managed a 2.5p gain to 665p.

Williams Holdings, one of the few conglomerates riding high, was little changed at 357.5p as Albert E Sharp made bullish noises ahead of next week's interim results. Suggesting profits of pounds 112m, the stockbroker observed the shares "now look poised to break out from the sector straight jacket and achieve genuine growth status".

Smith & Nephew, the healthcare group, gained 3p to 198p on suspected buying by Morgan Stanley and Tate & Lyle edged ahead 2.5p to 452.5p although more profit downgradings were signalled.

Iceland's poor display unsettled other food retailers and Farnborough produced modest gains for the aerospace contingent.

Avon Rubber, the tyres group, enjoyed a speculative run, up 22.5p at 710p, a 12 month high. Croda International added 25.5p to 338p after better-than-expected profits.

The Croda display directed attention to British Vita, up 9.5p to 204.5p.

With signs of a chemical upturn hopes are growing Monday's half-year figures will be accompanied by an encouraging trading statement. SBC Warburg has moved the shares from hold to add. Interim profits are likely to be around pounds 22m against pounds 26.2m. A year's out-turn approaching pounds 50m (pounds 35.7m) is the expectation being expressed in some quarters.

Telspec's latest profit warning sent the shares reeling 180p to 222.5p. They were 1,045p in November. Memory Corporation lost a further 13.5p to 24p.

Quality Software, the computer group, edged forward 2.5p to 257.5p. Its recent strength appears to be due to buying by the Bulldog Fund, an investment vehicle related to stockbroker Seligmann Harris. It has acquired nearly 4 per cent.

Millwall, the second-division football club, had to contend with more selling by director Jose Berarda. He has unloaded a further 5.5 million shares. His holding is 4.53 per cent against 12. 5 per cent earlier this year. The shares firmed to 3.5p.

TAKING STOCK

rBCE, the computer games group, fell 1p to 13.75p, lowest for more than a year. The fall has occurred despite favourable presentations about AutoNomy, developing an Internet search system, where BCE has 8.3 per cent. At the half-way mark the computer group had lost pounds 1.2m and there are worries publishers may have delayed commitments to new games. There is also talk a sell note is being prepared by a stockbroker. The shares were 25p in November.

rLadbroke has emerged as a surprise 4.45 per cent shareholder in Wakebourne, the struggling computer group. It seems the betting and hotel group could have acquired its interest in December, 1994, when a company with a debt to Ladbroke went into receivership. Wakebourne held at 27.5p.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup