Morning markets: FTSE 100 slips beneath 5,500 mark in early trading

The FTSE 100 index stalled slightly in early trading, falling just below the 5,500 mark as few stocks showed big rises.

The blue chip index dropped 0.5% to 5,499 (at 0828 GMT).

Global satellite communications company Inmarsat was the heaviest faller (at 0819 GMT), dropping by 2.8% to 411.6p.

It was joined at the bottom by Eurasian Natural Resources, which dropped 2.3% to 669p, and miner Xstrata, down 1.7% to 994.8p.

Engineer Meggitt slipped 1.3% lower to 353.8p, as Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered went 1.2% lower to 1,440.5p.

The biggest riser was Essar Energy (at 0816 GMT), up 0.8% to 224.7p. Packaging company Rexam and clothing retailer Next both increased by 0.4% to 348.8p and 2,605p, respectively.

Telecoms company BT and business software company Sage both rose 0.3% to 194p and 287.4p, respectively.

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