FTSE down despite US growth signs

FTSE down despite US growth signs

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The FTSE 100 Index was down 3.1 points to 5804.8

Trading got off to an uncertain start on Wall Street on Friday in a quiet session for stocks on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average in America clung to its opening mark, while there was also little news to budge the FTSE 100 Index in London, down 3.1 points to 5804.8.

Encouraging economic signs in the US failed to inspire investors, despite data revealing the trade deficit falling to its lowest level in nine months in October.

In London, banks were in sharp focus as European regulators published tough new rules clamping down on banker bonuses.

Barclays fell 3.8p to 272.2p and part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.4p to 42p.

Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered also continued its descent after falls on Thursday on concerns over issues flagged up in its trading update.

Investors were left unsettled by its admission that costs were rising faster than revenues, with share falls compounded on Friday after broker Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowered its rating on the bank.

Shares in the group fell 53p to 1757p.

BP was among a number of commodity firms seeing falls, down 1.1p to 454.4p.

Primark parent Associated British Foods dropped 15p to 1090p after giving a cautious outlook for the consumer environment in a trading update, despite confirming aims for annual revenue and profit growth.

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