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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 21:24 GMT
FTSE falls for record ninth day
Graph of FTSE 100 index from 1995 to 2003
The FTSE 100 index of leading UK shares has closed lower for a record ninth day in a row.

It is the index's worst losing streak since it was launched in 1984.

The FTSE closed down 55.8 points at 3,622.2, and is at its lowest level since 20 December 1995.

This compares with a peak of 6,930 touched in December 1999. Over the last nine days, the index has shed almost 9% of its value.

War is dominating everything

Stephen Ford
Brewin Dolphin
Worry over a possible war with Iraq was the main negative factor driving the market downwards.

Not even better-than-expected retail sales figures, showing a 1.1% rise last month compared with an expected fall of 0.2%, managed to lift investors' mood.

"War is dominating everything," said Stephen Ford, investment manager at private client stockbroker Brewin Dolphin.

"The economic numbers and the figures from companies, even the most pessimistic would say have stopped getting worse, even if they couldn't admit they're getting better,"

Dixons, Abbey National and BT Group were among the biggest individual fallers on Thursday, dropping by between 4% and 6%.

Mixed trading in the US

At the point when the FTSE closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 47.57 points at 8,271.16.

Cautious outlooks from AT&T, Caterpillar and McDonalds had cast a cloud over trading early in the session.

However, by close, the index had reversed its losses, ending up 0.61% at 8,369.47.

The market was cheered by some positive US economic data and a smaller-than-expected rise in weekly unemployment.

The technology index Nasdaq also gained ground, closing up more than 2% at 1,388.27.

It was boosted by positive results from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's John Moylan
"If it does keep on going down you might get into this dreadful spiral"
  Elissa Bayer, Director of Gerrard Stockbrokers
"There is just no appetite for the market"

Analysis

IN DEPTH
The Markets: 9:29 UK
FTSE 100 5760.40 -151.7
Dow Jones 11380.99 -119.7
Nasdaq 2243.78 -28.9
FTSE delayed by 15 mins, Dow and Nasdaq by 20 mins
Launch marketwatch
View market data
See also:

23 Jan 03 | Business
23 Jan 03 | Business
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