London’s top flight index appeared to shrug off the loss of the UK’s AAA credit rating today, with subdued trading across the Atlantic proving a greater concern to investors.
The FTSE 100 Index reached five year highs during the day but lost early gains, ahead of US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee today, to close up 19.7 points at 6,355.4.
Publisher Pearson topped the fallers’ board, with a 4% drop in its share price after it warned of job cuts under a restructuring that will focus its education arm on fast-growing and digital markets.
Shares fell 45p to £11.71 after the company, which is preparing to integrate its Penguin books arm with Random House, said operating profits were 1% higher at £936million last year.
Associated British Foods (ABF) was also lower despite it hailing another impressive sales performance at its Primark retail chain.
ABF shares were down 15p at £18.15p after lower sugar profits and a flat revenue performance at the group’s grocery arm.
Marks and Spencer fell 9.7p to 367.9p after leaked industry figures over the weekend showed it continued to lose market share in fashion.
In the second tier, pizza chain Domino’s was 2%, or 12p lower at 525.5p despite it reporting an 11% rise in full-year profits to £46.7million and promising the opening of several more stores.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Royal Bank of Scotland up 2.8% at 354.8p, A.G. Barr rising 2.1% to 521.75p and Parkmead Group gaining 1.8% at 14.125p.
Faroe Petroleum fell 4.7% to £1.39, Aggreko shed 2% to £16.84 and EnQuest edged 0.4% lower to 132.25p.