MARKET REPORT [Western Mail (Wales)]
(Western Mail (Wales) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VODAFONE led a welcome rally on the FTSE-100 Index yesterday as world markets bounced back from the recent heavy sell-off.
The mobile phone giant climbed 4% after chief executive Vittorio Colao reassured the City over the company's performance in emerging markets, contributing to a surge on the wider top tier.
London's FTSE-100 Index closed 100.4 points up at 6558.3 - a gain of 1.6% - spurred on by better-thanexpected unemployment benefit claims figures in the America, which set the tone for today's key US jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lifted about 150 points in early trading amid buoyant sentiment following a difficult start to the year, with markets across Europe also responding with a 1.5% rise on Germany's Dax and the Cac 40 in France ahead 1.7%.
But it was a dire day for micro-blogging website Twitter as it saw $7bn (Pounds 4bn) wiped off its value after its first set of results as a public company disappointed investors and sparked a Wall Street backlash.
Shares fell by as much as 24% in New York after the figures raised fears over slowing growth, with a lower-thanexpected rise in users over the quarter to December 31.
In currency markets, the pound fell against a strengthened euro after the European Central Bank decided not to cut interest rates as some traders had expected.
Sterling eased to EUR 1.20 and held firm at $1.63.
There was little reaction from investors after the Bank of England's monetary policy committee marked five continuous years of interest rates at their historic low of 0.5%.
In a busy session for corporate updates, pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca was among the biggest FTSE 100 fallers amid its continuing battle against the impact of generic competition on some of its best-selling drugs.
The Cheshire-based firm trimmed earnings and sales guidance ahead of competition in the US for another of its top-sellers - popular heartburn and ulcer drug Nexium - from May. It expects 2014 sales to suffer falls in the low to midsingle digits, with earnings also likely to be impacted.
Shares fell 61.5p to 3815.5p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Vodafone up 8p at 223.9p, Reckitt Benckiser ahead 155p at 4812p, Glencore Xstrata 9.5p higher at 322.5p and Aviva 13.3p stronger at 453.2p.
The biggest fallers were Randgold Resources off 70p at 4336p, AstraZeneca down 61.5p at 3815.5p, Fresnillo 9.5p weaker at 782.5p and Associated British Foods 24p lower at 2859p.
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