FTSE stumbles to three month low

19 April 2005
The FTSE 100 index took a tumble yesterday, falling to its lowest level in almost three months.

By 10.15 am the share index was down 88.0 points, or 1.8 per cent, at 4,803, following an earlier low of 4,794.8 - its lowest level seen within one day since January 25th.

Whilst it climbed to 4833.7 by lunchtime, the FTSE was still in a sorry state by close of business.

Concerns about a slowdown in consumer spending fuelled the slump according to Reuters, following disconcerting news from US automotive companies General Motors and Ford.

"What worries people a bit is that looking at General Motors' situation and the state of the car market, notably in the US, there a feeling that we've had something like 4 years of zero interest rates to sell cars in America and it no longer seems to be doing the trick," said Dan Bunting, European strategist at Dryden Wealth Management.

Mr Bunting added: "Are we reaching that dreaded tipping point?"

Shares in mid-cap firm Stanley Leisure did jump 10.3 per cent following rumours that its betting shops were set for a takeover by rival William Hill.

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