LONDON’S blue-chips made a nervous start today as fears over the financial position of weaker European economies continued to overshadow trading.
The FTSE 100 Index was just 5.7 points higher at 5098.1 with little help from Asian markets after Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below the 10,000 mark for the first time in three months.
Worries over a sovereign debt default by Greece - and its wider impact on the financial system - have sent the euro plunging against the dollar, while the greenback also gained ground against sterling.
There was little corporate news to cheer investors either, although Thomson owner TUI Travel was 1.2p dearer at 259.1p after reporting a 9% rise in average selling prices. Rival Thomas Cook added 0.6p to 226.1p.
Property firms led the Footsie risers board after well received third-quarter results from British Land, which added 13.5p to 451.6p. Land Securities followed suit, with an 18.5p rise to 640.5p, or 3%.
The leading faller was gold mining firm Randgold Resources, which shed 99p to 4381p as investors took profits following yesterday’s stunning fourth-quarter results. The firm has been boosted by gold prices soaring to record levels.