Markets dip but still end the week higher
London's FTSE 100 Index slid below the 6500 barrier yesterday as disappointing US economic indicators sent world markets into the red.
Higher US inflation figures and a weak consumer confidence reading in America threatened to end a ten-day winning streak on Wall Street – the longest run of gains in nearly 17 years.
Stocks were also suffering across Europe, with the FTSE 100 down 39.8 points to 6489.7, having closed above 6500 on Monday for the first time in more than five years. But despite yesterday's falls, the top tier narrowly managed to secure its fifth week of successive gains, having finished last week at 6483.6.
The best run for the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1996 has taken the benchmark index to an all-time high, although it opened lower yesterday after consumer prices showed the largest monthly rise since 2009. The annual jump to 2% in February was due to higher gas prices, adding to nerves that further rises could threaten the Federal Reserve's asset-buying programme and the country's ultra-low interest rates.
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The pound strengthened against the US dollar after Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King said sterling was now "properly valued". It has fallen by around 6% against a basket of key currencies since the start of the year.