Company Results Fail to Impress Says

The Bank of England held the Bank Rate at 0.5% for the twelfth consecutive month on Thursday and, as widely expected, kept its programme of quantitative easing on hold, reports, a free online share dealing resource that provides share information on all ftse100, 250 and 350 London Stock Exchange listed companies.

However, despite the news, investors remained cautious after a series of less than complementary company reports and the FTSE 100 index closed down 6.05 points or 0.1% at 5,527.16, failing to extend its winning streak to a fifth session.

The day also saw the bank shares for oil services and engineering group Amec fall 55p or 6.7% to 765.5p, despite reporting profits of Pounds Sterling 208.3 million, up 13% and ahead of market expectations. Falling oil prices have caused customers to postpone projects and a cautious outlook statement, in which Amec said that trading conditions remained challenging, was sufficient to send investors running for cover.

The insurance sector also experienced a poor day with Aviva, the second largest insurer in the UK, finishing the day down 10.2p or 2.61% at 380p, despite the firm actually reporting a 3% rise in operating profits from Pounds Sterling 3.37 billion to Pounds Sterling 3.48 billion, ahead of market expectations, but cut its dividend by 27% to 24p a share from 33p a share in 2008.

Furthermore, car insurer Admiral, whose full-year results missed market expectations on Tuesday, compounded losses with a fall of a further 32p or 2.58% to 1,210p on Thursday after a series of broker downgrades. Citigroup and Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy” and “equal weight” from “overweight” respectively, following a similar downgrade to “neutral” from “buy” by BoA Merrill Lynch on Wednesday. has been launched following the huge success of its predecessor, and provides free share information on all London Stock Exchange listed companies, sectors and FTSE indices and makes buying and selling shares a simple and quick process.

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