Footsie slumps by 141 points


The FTSE-100 Index plunged through the 5400 barrier yesterday (Thursday), plagued by negative sentiment surrounding the state of the US economy.

After just one hour trading, the Footsie was in freefall, dropping by 141.2 points to stand at 5398.8.

Economists said the market was registering its disappointment with the size of the cut in US interest rates on Tuesday night, but the City was also hit by yet another profits warning.

London-based engineering group Invensys warned the slowdown in the US economy had hit demand for its automation and control systems, and said profits over the second half of its financial year would be lower than the first half.

Its shares shed 13%, dropping 17p to 112p after the announcement, placing it firmly on top of the Footsie fallers board.

Tech and telecoms stocks were also continuing to head south in the sell-off, with telecom group Energis down a further 7%, or 20p at 259, and BT off 28p at 466p.

Software groups Misys and Sage were also down, shedding 24p and 14p to stand at 503p and 243p respectively.

Of the risers, Powergen saw its shares spark 4% after saying it was still in takeover talks with a number of potential bidders - following its January announcement that it had received interest from German utility E.ON.

Outside the Footsie 100, supermarket chain Morrisons was also up, rising 7p to 190p, after posting full-year profits of 219 million, some way ahead of City expectations.