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FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 23 Apr 2014, 11:36 ET *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
value change %
6674.74 -
-7.02
-
-0.11

Top winner and loser

Associated British Foods

2962.00 p +
+240.00
+
+8.82

Antofagasta

796.50 p -
-48.00
-
-5.68
value change %

FTSE 250 Index

15989.64 -
-92.60
-
-0.58

FTSE 350 Index

3641.79 -
-6.52
-
-0.18

FTSE All Share Index

3579.58 -
-6.01
-
-0.17

FTSE Techmark Index

3122.37 -
-0.87
-
-0.03

(Close): Shares in AB Foods rose 9% after it reported strong profits growth at Primark and announced plans to expand the clothing chain into the US.

The first store is scheduled to open in Boston next year, with more stores in the north-east of the US set to follow.

AB Foods also said operating profits at its retail business, which includes Primark, jumped 26% to £298m.

The FTSE 100 closed down 7.02 points at 6674.74, with weak manufacturing data from China hitting sentiment.

A survey suggested that factory activity in China contracted for the fourth month in row in April.

A number of shares going ex-dividend also weighed on the market, including Antofagasta, down 5.7%, and Centrica, which fell 4.2%.

Arm Holdings shares fell 2.8% despite the chip designer reporting a 9% rise in first quarter profits to £97.1m.

In the FTSE 250, shares in power station operator Drax tumbled 13% after it received government support to convert just one of its two coal-fired generators to biomass fuel.

Both generators had been short-listed in December for the new government scheme, and Drax said it would launch a legal challenge against the decision.

AstraZeneca shares remained in demand, rising a further 2.1%. On Tuesday, the pharmaceuticals firm had seen its shares jump 4.7% after the Sunday Times reported that it had received a £60bn takeover approach from Pfizer.

On the currency markets, the pound dropped 0.28% against the dollar to $1.6777 and fell 0.4% against the euro to 1.2141 euros.

More Business stories

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BBC Business Live

  1.  
    EUROTUNNEL 07:20:
    MyFerryLink

    Eurotunnel, the operator of the channel tunnel, has reported an 8% rise in revenue in the first quarter to 260m euros (£214m). The company's ferry service, MyFerryLink, reported 64% jump in sales. UK competition authorities are currently looking at Eurotunnel's share of the cross-channel market to see if they have too much power.

     
  2.  
    BANKERS' PAY 07:05: BBC Radio 4
    Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko

    "The golden age is over," says Phillip Wale, the boss of Panmure Gordon and a veteran of several huge financial firms, including Goldman Sachs. He says tighter regulation and a drop in margins in the banking business will put the days of immense pay packets behind us. Gordon Gekko would not approve.

     
  3.  
    BARCLAYS AGM 07:02: BBC Radio 4

    "It'll be a pretty lively meeting," adds Mr Braund. He recalls "the silver haired lady last year who looked along the row and very quietly said 'you are greedy bastards', and really made the point - clapping went all round the hall as a result".

     
  4.  
    BARCLAYS AGM 07:01: BBC Radio 4

    There is "no absolute long term proof" that talented staff leave if not paid huge salaries, says Harry Braund from the UK Shareholders Association, which represents smaller shareholders. His organisation recently wrote a letter to the Barclays' chairman - reminding him of his legal duty to shareholders. Mr Braund says the main issue is that staff bonuses are rising faster than shareholder payouts.

     
  5.  
    TABLET COMPUTERS Via Twitter Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

    tweets: "Are tablets over as iPad sales slip 16%? No, read this - and also note Tesco has sold 500,000 Hudls"

     
  6.  
    BARCLAYS AGM 06:42: Radio 5 live

    "The assets have shoes," says Sarah Wilson, founder of the Manifest shareholder information service, on Wake Up to Money. She is explaining how investment banks justify high levels of pay. She says Barclays has seen "a mass desertion" of staff in North America. She says that bankers feel that European authorities do not understand the nature of the financial services industry. The bank wants to raise the bonus pot by 10% despite a 30% fall in profits last year.

     
  7.  
    APPLE RESULTS 06:34: BBC Radio 4

    Apple "have around $150bn effectively lying around in cash," says Hargreaves Landsdown analyst Richard Hunter on Today. "That's bigger than the GDP of certain countries." He adds that shareholders are pressuring the US company to deploy some of that capital in some way.

     
  8.  
    APPLE RESULTS 06:32:
    Apple products

    Apple reported better-than-expected quarterly profits late on Wednesday. iPhones are still flying off the shelves, 43.7 million were sold during the quarter, up 17% year-on-year. However, iPod (remember them?) sales are down 51%, and even iPad sales are down by 16%.

     
  9.  
    MOTORING ON 06:23: BBC Radio 4

    Car production, which accounts for 15% of overall manufacturing output in the UK, is booming. Around 142,000 cars were made in March - 12% more than the same period last year. Fully three quarters of them are exported. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders tells Today "we've seen people come back into showrooms in Europe," he says, and that is driving UK production.

     
  10.  
    BANGLADESH TEXTILES 06:14: Radio 5 live

    It's a year since the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. The destruction left 1,130 dead. Alan Roberts, who helps run the Bangladesh Accord, a legally binding agreement formed in the aftermath of the disaster, tells Wake Up to Money a lot has changed since then. The Accord covers 166 brands and it has paid for the inspection of 300 factories. Of those, eight have been shut down for emergency improvements.

     
  11.  
    WIND FARMS 06:13:
    Royd Moor wind farm at twilight

    The Conservatives have announced that they will not subsidise any new onshore wind farms, if they win the next general election. They've also promised to give residents more power to block the construction of wind farms near their communities. Subsidies would continue for existing wind farms, and those with planning consent or under construction.

     
  12.  
    BARCLAYS AGM 06:07: Radio 5 live
    Sir John

    We can expect a significant number of Barclays shareholders to vote against the re-appointment of Sir John Sutherland, the already outgoing chairman of the bank's remuneration committee. Sarah Wilson, founder of the Manifest shareholder information service, tells Wake Up to Money voting against individual board members is unusual, but the move reflects how unhappy some are about the levels of pay Sir John has approved. It would be a protest vote, as Sir John is due to replaced anyway.

     
  13.  
    06:00: Ben Morris Business Reporter

    Barclays shareholders get a chance to vote today on pay and bonuses at the bank. Many are thought to be unhappy with how much money is being diverted into remuneration. More on that later. You can contact us throughout the morning by tweeting @BBCBusiness or emailing bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

     
  14.  
    06:00: Joe Miller Business Reporter

    Good morning. After much speculation over the declining fortunes of US tech companies, both Apple and Facebook posted better-than-expected results for the first three months of 2014. Stay with us as we bring you more analysis on that, and the rest of the business news.

     

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