London equity markets retreated in morning trade on Friday as investors took profits ahead of the weekend and P&O was hit by news that Singapore’s PSA International was to withdraw its bid for the UK company. Shares in P&O fell 3.9% to 517p following the announcement. The FTSE 100 was 6.7 points, 0.1% lower at 5,802.0 by mid-morning while the mid-cap FTSE 250 lost 23.5 points, or 0.3% to 9,345.2. Back in London, miners were lower as metal prices slipped once again. BHP Billiton lost 2.1% to 985½p and Anglo American fell 0.8% to £20.69. Xstrata escaped the fate of the rest of the sector as its shares rose 1% to £16.52. Supermarket chain Tesco traded down 0.7% at 318¼p. Shire Pharmaceuticals shares fell marginally down 0.4% at 879½p. BAA traded 1.5% higher at 791p while the catering firm Compass Group firmed 1.5% to 221¾p. QinetiQ rose 5.5% to 211p in early trade on its debut on the London Stock Exchange.
With the UK equities markets down slightly for the day, the Gilt demand was up with the bid at 104.75, pushing the yield down 1 basis point to 4.143%.