Market Report: Sun shines in California but it's gloomy in London

Where, oh where, is Britain's answer to Facebook? The social networking website's mega-float on New York's Nasdaq was the only excitement at the end of a week to forget for the Footsie, which fell every day. But anyone looking to find decent internet companies listed on the London stock market would struggle.

The video search engine Blinkx was founded in 2004 – the same year as Facebook – and no company in the world is going to compare favourably with the social networking wonder. But Blinkx has still enjoyed a tough time. Six months ago, it appeared to be picking up momentum as its market capitalisation pushed towards £500m. Alas the shares have gone into reverse since then, as it failed to meet profit expectations. Blinkx staged a minor recovery yesterday, rising 5.3 per cent or 2.25p to 44.75p after reporting a reasonable annual profit of $12.7m (£8m) against $9.8m a year earlier.

"Blinkx's revenue performance – albeit below previous expectations – is still solid," said analysts at Citigroup, who have a target price of 100p.

But the painful fact is the shares are down two-thirds on last November.

The online grocer Ocado, founded in 2000, is another British internet stock which has flattered to deceive. The shares have suffered from a roller-coaster ride since their initial public offering at 180p two years ago. Ocado slumped 5.4 per cent or 6.2p to 108.3p yesterday after long-time bear Philip Dorgan, analyst at Panmure Gordon, reiterated that he regards it as a "sell" with a target price of just 50p. "Ocado is losing market share online and with the competitive environment likely to get tougher, we think that it will struggle to demonstrate operational leverage," he says.

Anecdotal evidence suggests Mr Dorgan may be on to something. Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, whose pension fund has slashed its holding in Ocado, has been aggressively pushing its own internet grocery service – and the delivery staff aren't afraid to knock the opposition.

Meanwhile, City scribblers were trying to work out if any UK companies will benefit from the "Facebook effect".

Liberum Capital's media team was upbeat about the prospects of the big advertising groups and dismissed the idea that brands will bypass agencies to deal directly with the likes of Facebook.

"Advertisers are unlikely to ditch the agencies – as long as they keep their skills up to date – given the need for a holistic approach," said Liberum's Ian Whittaker. "In essence, the greater the complexity, the greater the advice clients require."

Liberum's top pick is Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP. The world's biggest advertising group, which employs 140,000, has annual revenue of £10bn and a stock market value of £9.7bn. On the other hand, Facebook is worth six times as much, employs 3,000 and has revenues of a mere £2.5bn and rising.

Still, traders can rarely look beyond next week and, with the eurozone saga continuing to weigh on sentiment, WPP was marked down 20.5p at 767p.

The FTSE 100 tumbled as much as 1.5 per cent, before closing down 70.76 points or 1.3 per cent at 5283. The index has fallen nearly 12 per cent from this year's peak in mid-March and is at its lowest level since November 2011. "Never a truer word about 'Sell in May and go away'," said one trader ruefully.

Lloyds Banking Group, down 1.7p at 25.95p, and Royal Bank of Scotland, sliding 1.07p at 19.99p, were among the worst losers, falling 6 per cent and 5 per cent respectively on euro debt fears.

As investors scrabbled around for value, companies paying decent dividends were attracting buyers. British Gas's owner Centrica was one of the few risers on the FTSE 100, up 3.1p to 315p, while traders also reported interest in the oil giant BP after it slipped 4.7p to 391.95p. But the big picture was a sea of red as a slew of household names were marked down on fears of a prolonged downturn.

Marks & Spencer, which reports annual results on Tuesday, was marked down 9.5p to 337p as analysts fear the torrential rain of the last month may have hurt fashion sales. ITV also dipped 3.05p to 78.85p on advertising jitters.

Down among the minnows, there has been some chatter around Optimal Payments, a payment-processing company that is looking to cash in on the mobile boom. The shares, which fell 0.75p to 71.5p, are up more than 22 per cent on the year, and Legal & General fund manager Richard Penny said this week he was keen as the stock was "quite cheap".

Things don't look so pretty at Trinity Mirror, stuck at a new 52-week low of 26.25p, taking its market value to below £68m. Departing chief executive Sly Bailey is set to stick around until December while it finds a successor, but with the shares down by half since February, the pressure is on to move faster.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little