Intel report hits London


The London market was dragged lower yesterday (Weds) after a mixed update from US chip giant Intel depressed hi-tech stocks.

Intel said overnight it had achieved better-than-expected earnings but its outlook for the coming months failed to inspire.

A number of tech stocks in the UK reacted poorly to the news and after an hour trading, the FTSE 100 Index was off 30.7 points at 5135.3.

Cambridge chip designer ARM was one of the bigger fallers, slipping 6p to 337p, and its smaller rivals were also heading south. Arc International lost p or 2 per cent to 46p while Parthus Technologies shed a penny or 3 per cent at 34p.

Back in the FTSE 100, others on the slide included Vodafone, off 2p at 162p, and computer services firm Logica, which shed a penny at 643p.

But retailer Marks & Spencer was racing up the Footsie leaders' board after posting strong festive figures.

In the seven weeks to January 12, like-for-like sales -- which strip out the effect of store openings and closures -- rose 8.3 per cent.

M&S, which had been fighting years of falling demand, said its recovery was on track and put on 6p at 366p.

Insurance giant Prudential was also making tracks, gaining 14p at 769p after reporting a 54 per cent leap in sales to 21.8 billion for 2001.