FTSE slips after downbeat jobless data
January 20, 2011 by N/A
LONDON (AFP) – London’s main stock market slipped back on Wednesday in the wake of disappointing British unemployment data.
The FTSE 100 index fell 1.32 percent to close at 5,976.70 points.
Investor sentiment was hampered following the release of disappointing figures in Britain which showed the jobless numbers up 49,000 in the three months to November, pushing the total to 2.5 million.
The downbeat data comes one day after news that annual inflation had spiked to an eight-month high of 3.7 percent in December, sparking speculation that the Bank of England could soon start hiking interest rates.
Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) was the day’s most traded stock, seeing 161 million shares switch owners, followed by Vodafone, which saw 95.4 million units change hands.
British publishing group Pearson notched up the biggest gains of the day, climbing 4.47 percent — or 45 pence — to finish at 1,051.
It was followed by India-focused Essar Energy, which recovered from Tuesday’s sharp losses to add 0.94 percent — or 5 pence — to finish at 538.
Imperial Tobacco was the day’s worst blue chip performer, shedding 5.04 percent — or 97 pence — to close at 1,829, followed by British Airways, which lost 4.2 percent — or 12.6 pence — at 287.5.
Meanwhile, the pound was up against the dollar but down against the euro.
At 17:10 GMT, sterling was trading at 1.5995 dollars, up from 1.5991 at the same time on Tuesday, while it stood at 1.1844 euros, down from 1.1932 over the same period.