London Report: FTSE led down by Experian and HSBC first quarter results

BRITAIN’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 2.12 points at 6,796.44 points yesterday, hindered by a drop in HSBC and credit data firm Experian.

HSBC’s 1.3 per cent fall trimmed the most points off of the FTSE. The bank said its 20 per cent drop in first-quarter profits resulted from muted customer activity in April.

Investec analyst Ian Gordon said HSBC's return on equity could remain under pressure in the coming years with “no easy way out.” Gordon kept a hold rating on HSBC’s shares.

Experian was the FTSE’s worst-performing stock in percentage terms. The share price slid 6.5 per cent after chief executive Don Robert said growth in the first half of this year could be constrained.

The index reached a two-month closing high last Friday after five days of gains but has since stalled.

The FTSE hit a peak of 6,867.42 points in late January, but fell back amid concerns about a slump in emerging markets and unease about clashes in Ukraine between Kiev authorities and pro-Moscow militants.