Stock Watch

THE FTSE 100 tumbled yesterday as many big hitters on the index closed down to drag the index southward and close 119.2 points down at 6277.8.

THE FTSE 100 tumbled yesterday as many big hitters on the index closed down to drag the index southward and close 119.2 points down at 6277.8.

Most of the losers closed over 4.5% down, with the biggest losers on the day, Rexam plc, closing 6.37% down.

One of the few firms to endure the tricky trading conditions and come out smiling was British industrial group BAE Systems, whose varied conglomerate approach paid off with good news in a number of fields.

The push for reduced emissions and better fuel economy brought good news as vehicle maker Daimler won a contract to provide more than 1,000 buses for New York and Ottowa – all powered by BAE’s hybrid propulsion system which gives more than 30% better fuel economy. In the second highlight of the day, tension in East Asia between Japan and the US has led to reluctance by the latter to sell its F22 stealth fighter to the Asian state.

Japan, which is looking to replace its F15 fighters, had hoped to buy US aeroplanes. However, the news yesterday prompted speculation that Japan could now look to invest in the BAE-built Eurofighter as a long term replacement for its ageing airforce.

Shares in BAE rose 7p to 462.25p.

On the losers’ list Rexam dropped 27p to 397.25p, Home Retail Group fell 19p to 311.25p and airline group BA closed 17.7p down at 303p after news of an increased appetite for acquisitions from rival German airline Lufthansa.

Michelle Stansby associate director, Barclays Wealth.

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