Britain's FTSE falls for fifth session, Cyprus weighs
Reuters: London, Mar 22 2013, 00:45 IST
Britain's blue chip shares fell for a fifth day on Thursday, retreating further from five-year highs and posting their longest downturn in 10 months as lack of resolution on a rescue for Cyprus rattled markets. Investors initially took a fairly benign view of the Cyprus crisis, but have been unsettled by parliament's rejection of an EU bailout that would have taxed savings and the absence of any immediate sign that Russia will step in with fresh cash. The European Central Bank has given Cyprus until Monday to raise the money it needs to secure a bailout, or face losing emergency funding for its crippled banks. Although Cyprus accounts for only around 0.2 percent of the euro zone economy, the crisis there has cast the spotlight back onto the problems in the region and dampened appetite for risk assets across the globe. The FTSE 100 closed down 44.15 points, or 0.7 percent at 6,388.55 points, extending its retreat from a five-year peak of 6,533.99 points hit earlier this month. With the index still up 8.4 percent so far this year, traders said more profit-taking could be expected in the run up to quarter-end and a four-day Easter weekend next week. "We've seen a lot of institutional selling in the last couple of days so it wouldn't surprise me to see some more profit-taking ahead of the break," said Steve Asfour, head of sales trading at Fox Davies Capital. "I think 6,250 will be the next level where
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