The major news in an otherwise relatively quiet day was the approval of the European Bailout Fund by the German Constitutional Court. Risk assets rose, albeit modestly, on the news, even with Germany limiting its liability to the European Stability Mechanism to €190 billion without legislative approval, and demanding that it must be kept informed as to how the money is being spent.
A rumour that BAE systems could merge with French rival and parent of Airbus EADS led to a jump in the share price of the former in late afternoon, with shares trading up 10.62% to finish at 363.6p. The two groups already contribute to the euro fighter project, and it has been suggested that BAE would own 40% of the combined group, with EADS owning the remaining 60%. It would create, according to BAE, a “world class international aerospace, defence and security group”.
The FTSE100 finished down almost 0.2% at 5782, with oil and gold off a touch and the euro up 0.3% to $1.2891.