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Rexam flies ahead on profit gains as FTSE lags
Britain’s benchmark stock index flatlines as downbeat data create a gloomy outlook despite the Greek deal averting a crisis for now.
Britain’s FTSE wavered as investors focused on the stresses facing the global financial system now that the Greek debt crisis has been papered over.
The benchmark UK index of blue-chip shares slipped 0.2%, or 11 points, to 5917 and the Mid-250 index increased 0.61%, or 69 points, to 11,449.
Can maker Rexam (REX.L) jumped top the FTSE 100 index, adding 28.6p, or 7.4%, to 413p as its full-year pre-tax profit met high-end expectations of £450 million. See the FTSE’s performance and the index’s top winners and losers.
Greece downgraded by Fitch
Market sentiment was low as investors absorbed the Greek bailout and focused on a stream of negative data coming from the eurozone.The mood was confirmed as Fitch downgraded Greece from a CCC to a C rating, despite the bailout agreement.
In Europe markets fell as a survey of purchasing managers showed weak production activity in two of the eurozone’s biggest economies, Germany and France. The figures indicate the region could be on the brink of lapsing into a recession.
Will Hedden, sales trader at IG Index, said: ‘Optimists were in short supply throughout markets today, as a raft of weaker economic data from around the world and continuing jitters from the Greek deal hit risk appetite.
‘Figures from China, Europe and the US were almost all below expectations, although not significantly so, meaning that bulls have found it hard to build a powerful case for pushing markets higher.’
Other stock markets in Europe also fell: Germany’s DAX index shed 0.93% to 6,844, France's CAC 40 index weakened 0.52% to 3,447, and the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares lost 0.73% to 1,078.
Stateside markets also opened on a low when technology stocks slumped, as computer maker Dell reported that sales fell 5.1% in the first quarter of 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.34% to 12,921, the Standard & Poor's 500 index reduced 0.35% to 1,358, and the Nasdaq Composite index ditched 0.51% to 2,934.
Minutes released from the Bank of England indicate that board members may consider further quantitative easing, pushing sterling down.
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