LONDON -- British Airways (BAB) - Get Report shares were marked down near the close of the London trading session on the tragic news that an Air France Concorde had crashed outside Paris, killing more than 100 people.
The news comes just a day after British Airways said it had grounded one of its aging Concorde fleet because of cracks found in many of the supersonic aircraft's wings, although aviation experts are already saying it is very unlikely the two are connected. Air France shares were immediately suspended on the
. British Airways closed 7.5p lower, or 2%, at 365 ($5.55).
For the rest of the market, activity continued to be lackluster due to the summer holiday season. The
eventually closed 9.4 points higher, or 0.2%, at 6,390.70, while the
took its cue from the Nasdaq's weak performance and finished 54.04 points lower, or 1.4%, at 3,697.97.
Global information services giant
hogged the headlines for most of the day. What a difference a day makes. On Monday, the market heavily marked down shares in the company in anticipation that its first-half earnings performance would not be up to scratch. However, the company unveiled positive first-half results and the market decided on a rapid reappraisal. As a result, Reuters led the gainers in the main index by soaring 54p, or 4.3%, to
Reuters announced that group revenues rose 9% to
1.7 billion compared with the same period last year. Just a year ago, Reuters' stock was languishing at 517p. The company was widely deemed to have no viable Internet strategy and it seemed that CEO Peter Job's head was firmly wedged on the chopping block.
But today's announcement of better-than-expected strong trading profits suggests that the company has weathered competition from cheaper Internet-based products, and it clearly cheers the market.
It was not all sweetness and light in the media sector.
took a real pasting after
Credit Suisse First Boston
cut its forecast for first-half operational earnings, which are due out Wednesday, to
110 million from
302 million. The shares closed down 70p, or 5.4%, at
Pharmaceuticals had a good day after
announced a pretax profit of
495 million in the second quarter compared with the consensus forecast of around
460 million. Earnings were boosted by strong demand for its anti-depressant
, its treatment for diabetes. SmithKline closed 18p higher, or 2.2%, at 822, while merger partner
put on 49p, or 2.7%, to
Recent negativity over telecom stocks continued even though Holland's auction for third-generation mobile phone licenses resulted in lower prices less than previously anticipated. Instead, following
proposed takeover of
in the U.S., the focus is on the high cost of pursuing consolidation in the industry. Footsie heavyweight
shed 2.5p, or 0.8%, to 299.5, while
shed 12p, or 1.4%, to 878.
Europe's other major stock markets finished mixed, with the
in Paris closing down 38.66, or 0.6%, at 6,463.9. Late in the German trading session, the
in Frankfurt was off 28.6, or 0.4%, at 7299.7 and the
index was 16.8 higher, or 0.3%, at 6251.9.
Deutsche Telekom shed early gains, as investors continued to fret over the price paid for VoiceStream. Late in the day Telekom was near unchanged at 48.80 euros ($45.51).
Elsewhere in European telecom,
closed down 1.40 euros, or 1%, to 140.00 and
ended down 0.53 euros, or 2.2%, to 23.55.
continued to fall amid concern about the carmaker's second-quarter figures, due to be released Wednesday. DaimlerChrysler was down 1.60 euros, or 2.8%, at 56.40.
fell 1.19 euros, or 2.6%, to 44.81.
was down 2.91 euros, or 1.6%, at 177.80 a day ahead of releasing third-quarter earnings, while
was down 2.57 euros, or 2.2%, at 116.99 and software maker
fell 6.00 euros, or 2.4%, to 244.00.