The FTSE 100 fell for a second day as investors grew cautious about the extent of this month’s recovery.
The UK’s leading index fell 29 points or 0.4% to 6,801 after inconclusive overnight trading in the US and Asia Pacific provided no momentum for London.
There was reassurance on the economy, however, as the Office for National Statistics confirmed that UK gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013. It did revise down its estimate for total economic growth in 2013 to 1.8% from 1.9%.
Weir (WEIR.L) led the FYSE, rising 5.9% to £24.91, after the pipe and valve manufacturer cheered investors by saying an increase in spending by oil and gas companies would offset the decline in its mining business. Full-year profits dropped 5% to £418 million but were slightly better than many analysts had expected following a profits alert in November.
ITV (ITV.L) was the biggest FTSE 100 faller, down 5% to 195.7p, after investors took profits in the commercial broadcaster which announced a 21% leap in profits to £620 million and promised a £161 million special dividend.
Tesco (TSCO.L) slid 3.8% to 322.3p as analysts downgraded their recommendations and target prices for the supermarket after yesterday’s briefing underscored the challenge it faces in the UK.