LONDON (SHARECAST) - China is weighing on UK investors' minds as speculation mounts that the Chinese authorities might not spring into action to juice up the world's second largest economy as quickly as previously thought.
techMARK 2,141.53 -0.17%
FTSE 100 5,903.67 -0.20%
FTSE 250 12,094.44 -0.18%
Adding weight to that view is the decision by economists at Citigroup to cut their forecast for Chinese gross domestic product growth this year to 7.6% from 8% before.
Meanwhile, according to figures from the London Metal Exchange (LME), copper inventories with the LME in Asia rose last week for the first time in five, by 3.9% to 93,050 tons, suggesting a slow-down in activity in the region.
Back in Britain, house prices - seen as a major element of consumer confidence - remain subdued, according to data from property web site Rightmove. The average price of a home coming to market this September in the UK is £234,858, a mere 0.7% higher than a year earlier and 0.1% lower than in September 2007, according to Rightmove.
Still tense in Rustenburg after week-end crackdown
Mining operations have resumed at Aquarius Platinum's Kroondal platinum mine and at Xstrata's chrome mine near the city of Rustenburg in South Africa. American Platinum (Amplats) said work would resume at its strike-hit Rustenburg mines on Tuesday, although defiant striking workers cast doubt on Amplats's management's confident assertion.
South African police launched an offensive to disarm miners and bring to an end five weeks of often violent protests which have interrupted mining in the area.
Global platinum powerhouse Lonmin says strikes at its mines in South Africa have reduced full year production expectations and increased unit costs, as violence continues. The net result of the industrial action is that sales will come in at between 685,000 and 700,000 ounces of platinum by the year’s end in September. Unit costs will rise 8.5%.
In a statement released on Monday morning the company says the number of people who have died in clashes since the strikes began at its Marikana facility on August 10th has risen to 45, with the discovery of the body of a 51-year -old worker last week.
Elsewhere in the resource sector, FTSE-250 oil and gas company Ophir Energy has disappointed the market with an update on its drilling programme in block R, Equatorial Guinea. These were better than expected, but share price reaction suggests investors beg to differ.
Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a setback on its Alaska drilling programme, with the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger barge sustaining damage during a final test of the containment system. The time required to repair the dome, along with steps taken to protect local whaling operations and to ensure the safety of operations from ice flow movement, have led the oil giant to revise its plans for the 2012-2013 exploration programme.
Reckitt poaches CFO from Smith & Nephew
Reckitt Benckiser, the Anglo-Dutch household goods firm behind the Cillit Bang brand, has nabbed Adrian Hennah from medical technology business Smith & Nephew to be its new Chief Financial Officer. Hennah will get his feet under his new desk in 2013.
Reckitt's Anglo-Dutch rival Unilever is wanted after UBS issued a "buy" note on the stock. The same broker has turned bearish on chip-designer Imagination Technologies, downgrading it to "sell" from "neutral".
Elsewhere in the mobile devices space, phone network titan Vodafone is lower after Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford told the Bloomberg news agency that the company may make a provision to cover legal risks associated with its fight to avoid a $2.2bn tax bill in India.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 337.10p +2.84%
Capita (CPI) 748.50p +1.63%
ICAP (IAP) 355.40p +1.31%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 226.60p +1.25%
G4S (GFS) 263.80p +1.07%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,269.00p +1.07%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,408.00p +1.05%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 727.50p +1.04%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 588.00p +1.03%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,100.00p +0.92%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,082.00p -2.08%
Evraz (EVR) 287.70p -2.04%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 157.10p -1.87%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 868.00p -1.87%
BT Group (BT.A) 229.10p -1.67%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,077.00p -1.55%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 274.70p -1.54%
Prudential (PRU) 843.50p -1.23%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,059.00p -1.20%
Aviva (AV.) 358.80p -1.18%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 53.55p +9.73%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 110.20p +3.47%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 448.20p +3.30%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 184.20p +3.19%
Cape (CIU) 256.60p +2.76%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 91.80p +2.34%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 43.84p +2.31%
Chemring Group (CHG) 353.70p +2.23%
Man Group (EMG) 90.45p +2.20%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 324.50p +1.88%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 609.00p -4.99%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 568.00p -3.73%
Fenner (FENR) 404.70p -3.44%
Beazley (BEZ) 164.00p -3.24%
JPMorgan Asian Inv Trust (JAI) 178.70p -2.88%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 584.50p -2.83%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 100.90p -2.32%
ITE Group (ITE) 212.90p -2.20%
UBM (UBM) 696.00p -2.04%
FirstGroup (FGP) 255.60p -1.88%