FTSE100 finishes a bleak session with triple-digit losses

END-OF-DAY REPORT: The headline index ended the day with triple-digit losses, with BG Group leading the rout after slashing 2014 forecasts and Hargreaves Lansdown sliding on controversy over its new charging policy.

At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 113.08 points at 6,550.56 and the FTSE250 off 175.23 points at 15,528.21.

NEW YORK

US stocks were mixed in late morning trade as upbeat earnings from Caterpillar were offset by concerns over disappointing home sales data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 22 points at 15,901, the S&P500 fell 4 points at 1,787 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 32 points to 4,096.

LONDON MARKETS

BG Group was the worst blue chip of the day, slumping 173p (13.8%) to 1,082p after saying 2013 results will be in line with expectations but production and profits in 2014 are likely to be lower, hit by problems in the US and Egypt.

Fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown tumbled 80p to 1,429p following controversy over its new charging policy.

Vodafone slipped 9p to 223.55p when US telecoms group AT&T said it would not be making a bid for the UK mobile phone giant.

Chip designer ARM Holdings fell 20.5p at 957.5p after news it has appointed Stuart Chambers as Chairman to replace John Buchanan who is stepping down for health reasons.

Broadcaster ITV eased 1.6p to 192.5p after a downgrade to sell from neutral at Citigroup. The target price remains 191p.

Royal Mail Group dropped 13.5p to 559p as Citigroup initiated coverage on the group with a sell recommendation and 531p target price.

Weekend computer problems helped push Lloyds Banking Group 0.96p lower to 80.4p, while Royal Bank of Scotland, which suffered multiple IT failures last year, slipped 7.5p to 332.2p after it said today it is making an additional provision of £465m for PPI claims in its full year results.

On the limited upside, Irish pharmaceutical group Shire gained 12p at 2,946p after Morgan Stanley resumed coverage on the group with an overweight rating and price target of 3,370p.

Continued evidence of rising demand for commercial property in London, boosted Land Securities 5p to 1,055p.

Waste and water groups were the safe haven of choice, with United Utilities topping the leaderboard with a gain of 13p at 713.5p, while Severn Trent added 22p at 1,700p.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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