LONDON (SHARECAST) - - ECB meeting eyed
techMARK 2,086.13 +0.23%
FTSE 100 5,646.70 -0.45%
FTSE 250 11,413.57 -0.13%
- Australian, Chinese data disappoints
- BP, ex-div stocks weigh on Footsie
Following a 1.5 per cent fall for the Footsie the day before, UK stocks opened lower once again on Wednesday morning with investors likely to remain cautious ahead of tomorrow's eagerly anticipated European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy decision tomorrow.
ECB President Mario Draghi is widely expected to unveil plans on Thursday for buying sovereign debt in order to bring down bond yields in peripheral nations. "Whatever the decision however, there is still a long way to go before we go back to any sense of normality," said trader Simon Furlong from Spreadex this morning.
Weighing on estimates were gross domestic product (GDP) growth figures from Australia this morning. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, second-quarter GDP rose by 0.6%, below the 0.8% growth expected.
Meanwhile, the HSBC China service sector purchasing managers’ index for the month of August revealed a small slowdown, retreating to 52 points from 53.1 in the month before.
Bank of Japan (BoJ) board member Ryuzo Miyao has said that the odds of an extended world economic slowdown have increased and that the monetary authority must remain ready to take decisive action if necessary.
FTSE 100: BP leads fallers on DoJ news
Oil titan BP was falling heavily this morning on press reports that the US Department of Justice is intent on throwing the book at the company for its part in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as it seeks to have the maximum possible penalties imposed on the British firm.
Financial services provider and asset management group Hargreaves Lansdown was in demand after saying total assets under administration rose 7% in the year ended 30th June 2012 while profit jumped 21% despite continued market volatility.
Insurance group Prudential gained after completing the acquisition of SRLC American Holdings Corp from Swiss Re after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals.
Telecoms group BT Group was benefitting from a broker upgrade from JPMorgan Cazenove, who lifted its rating from 'neutral' to 'overweight'.
Several stocks were lower after going ex-dividend today, meaning that investors will not be able to access the firm's latest payout. These include: Aggreko, ARM Holdings, BHP Billiton, Diageo, Evraz, IMI, Kazakhmys, Resolution, Serco, Shire and Tullow Oil.
FTSE 250: Sports Direct sees boost from London 2012
Sporting goods retailer Sports Direct gained after saying total sales for the 13 weeks ending July 29th were up 25.3% after sales were "boosted by the tremendous performance of Team GB at the London Olympics."
House builder Berkeley Group gained after saying that this year's earnings are likely to be towards the top-end of brokers' forecasts.
Tons of FTSE 250 stocks went ex-div today, such as Amlin, AZ Electronic Materials, Betfair, Cape, Carillion, Elementis, Greggs, International Personal Finance, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Michael Page, National Express, New World Resources, Phoenix Group, Regus, SEGRO and TUI Travel.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Wolseley (WOS) 2,608.00p +1.80%
Experian (EXPN) 1,003.00p +1.42%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,539.00p +1.38%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,129.00p +1.38%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,330.00p +1.14%
BT Group (BT.A) 223.80p +1.13%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 938.00p +1.08%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,612.00p +1.00%
Carnival (CCL) 2,146.00p +0.89%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,426.00p +0.88%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 205.90p -3.79%
BP (BP.) 420.30p -3.73%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,766.50p -3.31%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 582.00p -2.51%
Evraz (EVR) 212.70p -2.43%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 860.00p -1.83%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,407.00p -1.71%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,554.00p -1.65%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,081.00p -1.46%
Diageo (DGE) 1,730.50p -1.34%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Britvic (BVIC) 353.00p +7.43%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 328.00p +4.46%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 200.00p +3.04%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 427.10p +2.77%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 120.20p +2.73%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,035.20p +2.37%
easyJet (EZJ) 541.50p +2.17%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 310.00p +1.97%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 97.35p +1.94%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 53.15p +1.92%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bumi (BUMI) 268.30p -6.84%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 487.00p -4.23%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 145.00p -3.97%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 152.80p -3.29%
John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd (JLIF) 108.30p -2.70%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 475.60p -2.36%
SEGRO (SGRO) 225.40p -2.25%
British Assets Trust (BSET) 118.30p -2.23%
Cape (CIU) 232.70p -1.90%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 75.25p -1.70%