Sales gloom hits shares

SHARE prices fell in midday trading yesterday with traders disappointed by the results of December sales, which were reported lower than in the corresponding period for 1991.

Shares were left almost unaffected by new public sector deficit figures that showed government borrowing running at ?3.4 billion (about HK$40 billion) in December, slightly below analysts' expectations.

British Aerospace rose seven pence to 192 on news that it has signed a regional aircraft joint venture with Taiwan Aerospace.

Stores were mixed in the wake of a cautious CBI distributive trades survey, released earlier in the day,.

Oil shares remained steady while brewers fell back slightly after broker NatWest Securities issued a gloomy report on the beer market.

Allied-Lyons was the exception, climbing seven pence to 611, on its joint venture with Danish firm Carlsberg.

Pharmaceuticals were mixed with Wellcome up 13 pence to 925 after an encouraging broker report but Glaxo Holdings down 11 pence to 717 on gloomy advice.

Television company Carlton Communications rose 10 pence to 823 on news of its European advertising venture with LWT.