Market Report: ECB measures to save the euro fail to revive UK markets

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The Independent Online

ECB President Mario Draghi followed the script yesterday with radical measures to save the euro, but the moves failed to revive UK markets.

Despite a brief rally in the immediate aftermath of the policy announcements, the FTSE 100 ended the day down 5.14 points at 6813.49.

Rebecca O'Keefe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: "The reality is we are into uncharted territory, so whilst the impact for European markets may be more positive, the impact for the UK is more uncertain.

"In addition, with Mark Carney confirming that the economy is edging closer to the point at which interest rates may need to rise, investors are becoming more cautious."

There were some winners: Meggitt shot up in brisk trade, ending the day 23.4p better at 517.5p, as did Smith & Nephew, with markets digesting news that US Medtronic may spark a bidding war over the medical device maker, 24p better at 1088p.

Catalytic converter and chemical company Johnson Matthey revealed a 17 per cent jump in pre-tax profit to £406.6m and hiked its dividend by 10 per cent. But the company admitted that the end of a long-standing contract with Anglo Platinum had hit revenue and closed down 33p at 3225p.

Investment giant BlackRock upped its stake in discount sports retailer Sports Direct to 5.2 per cent, making it the company's third biggest shareholder. Sports Direct lost 1.5p to 797.5p.

Supply chain and logistics firm Wincanton jumped 12p to 131p after an expectation-beating 20 per cent rise in pre-tax profit. The Chippenham-based company also announced new contracts with the likes of Asda and renewed contracts with WH Smith and Morrisons.

Office fit-out specialist ISG was 13.5p better at 300p after landing a Nordic data centre project. The job, for an unnamed global technology company, is worth around £120m.

Small-cap Asian oil and gas explorer Salamander Energy offloaded a 40 per cent stake in a site near Thailand for $280m to Sona Petroleum. Salamander, up 1.5p at 144.5p, put itself up for sale last month and says the process is on-going.