Market Report: Budget fears take the wind out of Footsie record run

The Blair bloom has faded. Footsie has fallen for the past six sessions, losing 123.5 points as the strength ebbed from financials and the stock market started to fret abut the Labour government and its first Budget.

Although the index ended only 0.7 points lower yesterday it experienced another volatile session, giving up a 28.1 gain.

At their best level of the day blue chips did not look entirely confident. And when New York confounded the experts by opening sharply lower Footsie quickly went into ragged retreat.

Since Labour swept to power Footsie has enjoyed a remarkable run, even achieving its longest winning streak.

It started the Labour reign at 4,436, reaching a 4,693.9 closing peak and even breaking through 4,700 on occasions.

The deepening fear is that the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, will heap more taxes on companies and discriminate against dividends. A pounds 3bn windfall tax is already discounted but a heavier windfall hit is not ruled out.

Among blue chips British Aerospace, a possible windfall casualty, climbed 35p to 1,252.5p as calls for a Eurofighter funding decision were heard in Germany, ahead of a meeting between Tony Blair and Helmut Kohl. And Mr Blair told Parliament the Government was doing "everything we can to speed the Eurofighter project up".

BT was another privatised group in form, gaining 7.5p to 446.5p. It was lifted by rumours it was about to swoop for a stake in Tele Danmark and Government indications the ban will be lifted on the provision of entertainment through the telephone network.

Vodafone was the best performing Footsie constituent, up 11p to 282.5p on its better-than-expected figures.

Banks had a more relaxed session with Barclays up 8.5p to 1,170p. Halifax rose 8.5p to 733p, although a string of small late trades went through at up to 775p. Volume was just over 9 million shares.

HSBC firmed to 1,870p with Charterhouse Tilney predicting the price could hit pounds 20 in the next three months.

But Standard Chartered fell 14.5p to 928p. SBC Warburg is expected to downgrade after meeting the company; in the meantime negative noises were thought to be coming from stockbroker Collins Stewart.

Insurances tended to give ground despite indications of a soaraway performance by Norwich Union when trading starts on Monday week.

City Index, the bookmaker, has seen prices of up to 360p projected, although the grey market level was around 350p at the close.

Norwich has put a price of 240p to 290p on its offer with a 25p discount for its members.

Frost, the petrol retailer, fell 29.5p to 90p after a subdued trading statement from chairman James Frost who blamed Esso and Tesco for a flare up in the forecourts price war.

De La Rue, the security printer, fell a further 22p to 399.5p, lowest since 1991, following the latest set of poor figures. The price touched 1,052p two years ago.

Scottish & Newcastle, expected to roll out profits of around pounds 380m, up from pounds 308m, next month was the weakest of the blue chips, tumbling 18.5p to 673.5p in a flat beer sector. Imperial Tobacco wheezed 8.5p higher to 380.5p on Goldman Sachs support.

Retailer Laura Ashley had another poor session. It gave up 5p to 81.5p, reflecting its uninspiring trading statement; Celltech, the drugs group, remained depressed after the scrapping of its septic shock treatment, dropping 17.5p to 302.5p.

Takeover moves provided some bright spots. TLS, the vehicle hire group, at last signalled the long mooted bid was near. The shares jumped 28p to 125p. GE Capital of the US is keen to strike although Goode Durrant may barge in. TLS named no names, contenting itself with a statement it had received an approach.

CNC Properties, up 2p at 78.5p, duly confirmed a bid approach and also failed to identify the potential buyer. Wiggins, up 0.25p to 9.5p, is rumoured to be the interested party. Atlas Converting jumped 160p to 807.5p as an 815p offer appeared and Shield Diagnostic rose 45p to 497.5p on talk of a British Biotech strike.

Life Numbers held at 9.25p. It is in talks which could produce a reverse takeover. Lynx, off 1.5p to 105.5p, said it could be the bidder for Kalamazoo Computer, down 5p at 87.5p.

Dominion Energy came to life, up 2.5p to 12p. The company, with interests in North America, is indirectly controlled by Middlesex, the metals group.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
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

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state