London Report: Plumbing supplier Wolseley leads the FTSE in light trade

BRITAIN’S top share index edged lower in light trade yesterday, with most stocks falling in thin volumes ahead of the European Central Bank’s meeting this week.

Substantial buying of shares in plumbing supplier Wolseley provided some support. Wolseley rose 1.6 per cent to be the top FTSE 100 gainer, after it reported a 5.1 per cent rise in third-quarter like-for-like revenue and said it expected sales to grow about four per cent in the next six months.

The majority of stocks fell in trading volume of just 60 per cent of the index’s 90-day average.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 27.80 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,836.30 points at the close, not far from a 14-year high of 6,894.88 on 15 May.

Traders said that investors were reluctant to make strong bets one way or the other ahead of the ECB’s meeting tomorrow. The ECB is widely expected to trim its refinancing rate, send its deposit rate into negative territory and launch a long-term refinancing operation targeted at businesses.

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