UK's FTSE extends losing streak as ARM slumps

Tue Feb 4, 2014 11:02am EST

* FTSE 100 slips 0.1 pct lower in late trading

* ARM slumps to take most points off FTSE 100 index

* Some traders expect more near-term weakness on FTSE

By Sudip Kar-Gupta

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Britain's top equity index fell for the tenth time in eleven sessions on Tuesday, as a drop in the share price of chip designer ARM kept the market down near a two-month low.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.1 percent, or 5.57 points, at 6,460.09 points in late session trading - hovering near its lowest level since mid-December.

ARM fell 8.3 percent in heavy volume to make it the worst-performing FTSE stock in percentage terms after it posted a smaller-than-expected rise in royalty revenues.

Trading volumes in ARM were nearly five times above the average 90-day volume in the stock, and ARM's decline also took the most points off the FTSE 100 index.

The FTSE rose 14.4 percent in 2013 to post its best annual gain since 2009, but the index has fallen by around 4 percent since the start of 2014.

Global equities have lost ground at the start of this year on concerns over slowing growth in China and the United States, while a slump in emerging markets has also hit stock markets.

"It is definitely a risk-off attitude dominating the markets right now, sparked by the macro data showing that the two biggest economies in the world are losing momentum," said Varengold Bank trader Anita Paluch.

Signs of weak corporate results from major companies, such as ARM and UK bank Lloyds on Monday, have also reinforced some investors' concerns that corporate results will not be strong enough to drive the stock market higher during the first quarter of this year.

"I am expecting a further pull-back of at least 3 percent over the next two weeks before we start to find new support and cash," said H20 Markets chief market strategist Mike Jarman.