London shaky ahead of rate announcement


Crisis-ridden telecoms group Marconi continued to dive on the London market yesterday (Thurs) after a nervy start to trading in the City.

The group, which has seen its share price plummet following a profits warning on Tuesday, fell a further 8 per cent in the first hour.

More than 17 million Marconi shares swapped hands as the group dropped to a lowly 35p, a loss of 3p.

The fall reflected a shaky start in London, with the FTSE 100 off 36.2 points at 5279.8 ahead of yesterday's Bank of England interest rates announcement.

And the drop came despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the 10,000 mark in the U.S. on Wednesday night after a rollercoaster session.

In London, several telecom stocks were also feeling the pressure with Telewest slipping 3p to 42p and Energis down 1p to 78p.

Mobile phone giant Vodafone, one of the market's biggest stocks, dropped 2p to 140p while Cable & Wireless was off p to 340p.

In the tech sector, computer services groups Logica and CMG were also down 14p and 4p to 724p and 247p respectively.

Old economy stocks were also on the way down, however, with drinks group Diageo tumbling 13p to 691p after disappointing full-year results.

The biggest riser was British Gas-to-financial services group Centrica, which jumped 5p to 224p.