London close: FTSE 100 ends week lower behind WPP as attentions turn to Yellen
Shares in London ended the week on a negative note with a hefty fall in WPP advertising investors' displeasure with the out-looking statement accompanying the company's full-year results.
The FTSE 100 ended 0.11% or 8.09 points down on Friday at 7,374.26, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.36% or 67.99 points at 18,882.86.
Falls on the FTSE 350 indices for media, aerospace & defence and industrial metals, among others, offset gains in 350 oil-related indices.
On Wall St, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all slipped, while in Europe the Euro Stoxx 50 and Cac 40 gained as the Dax fell.
Back in London, ad titan WPP's shares slumped after it posted a rise in full-year profit but said it expects growth to slow this year.
It found some company in London Stock Exchange Group, which fell despite strong profits growth as it tried to ignore the merger-shaped elephant in the room.
Blue chips lower on one type of news or another included Vodafone, Sage Group and Rio Tinto, but Astrazeneca, 3i Group, Smurfit Kappa and International Consolidated Airlines made gains.
The slightly negative close marks an end to a week that saw both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 muscle their way up to fresh record closing highs.
Some of these gains were on sterling weakness in the face of a resurgent US dollar, and more was due to the Donald Trump-effect of a $1trn pledge to US infrastructure.
"Caution continues to be the overriding sentiment as investors get used to the altitude," said CMC Markets UK's chief market analyst, Michael Hewson.
"It would appear that a further period of acclimatisation is needed before we see enough evidence of where we go to next," added Hewson.
He and other said all eyes were on US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech later on Friday evening, with several other of the central bank's officials speaking prior.
"With multiple Fed speakers on the calendar for today, the session has essentially been a writeoff since the opening," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.
"When we all return on Monday (next week) we will hopefully have a better idea of the Fed's intentions," said Beauchamp.
"The signs of a potential top in markets are there for all to see, but with inflows continuing to support equities there seems little reason to stand in the way of the rally."
On the data front, UK's services purchasing-managers' index for February came in worse than expected, seeing sterling lower. The euro-zone's services PMI for February beat expectations.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Old Mutual (OML) 225.80p 1.81%
Standard Life (SL.) 378.50p 1.75%
CRH (CRH) 2,885.00p 1.58%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 488.10p 1.27%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,362.50p 1.23%
Prudential (PRU) 1,648.50p 0.95%
3i Group (III) 702.00p 0.93%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 597.50p 0.93%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 254.40p 0.83%
Barclays (BARC) 231.45p 0.83%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
WPP (WPP) 1,759.00p -7.95%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,412.00p -2.89%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,126.00p -2.70%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,720.00p -1.86%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,771.00p -1.82%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 251.10p -1.80%
Sage Group (SGE) 645.50p -1.75%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,080.00p -1.33%
Pearson (PSON) 678.50p -1.31%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 261.40p -1.25%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Shawbrook Group (SHAW) 304.20p 18.19%
Hunting (HTG) 571.50p 5.83%
Dignity (DTY) 2,750.00p 4.88%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,755.00p 3.36%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 399.10p 3.34%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 206.60p 2.99%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 461.50p 2.62%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 558.00p 2.39%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,117.00p 2.29%
Debenhams (DEB) 53.25p 2.21%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Acacia Mining (ACA) 461.00p -13.51%
Berendsen (BRSN) 823.50p -11.40%
Cobham (COB) 128.00p -7.65%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 238.00p -6.63%
Homeserve (HSV) 567.00p -3.41%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 215.60p -3.01%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,941.00p -3.00%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 682.50p -2.64%
Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL) 121.60p -2.25%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 240.20p -2.24%