LONDON (SHARECAST) - 1630: Close The IMF today said that risks to global financial stability have increased in the last six months. It also stated that the Eurozone debt crisis has remained its chief concern. In company news, banks were performing well, boosted by the FSA's plans to ease capital buffers for the UK’s largest lenders, meaning that loans given through the government’s ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme can be effectively classed as risk-free. Meanwhile, Imagination Technologies plunged, with some market chatter attributing the losses to a negative start of coverage on the company -at Sell- from analysts at Credit Suisse. It was also confirmed that BAE and EADS have officially called off their merger plans. The FTSE 100 closed down 34 points at 5,777.
1447: The Footsie continues to trade firmly in negative territory after a mixed start on Wall Street. However, stocks in the US are already off their intraday lows after wholesale inventories rose by 0.5 per cent to 487.5bn, above the 0.4 per cent increase expected. Mining stocks in London are among the worst performers, with Fresnillo, Polymetal and Randgold falling. Randgold is being weighed down by Nomura which reiterated its 'reduce' rating on the shares today. While the broker said that gold equities have the potential for further outperformance, it said that Randgold is ‘fully priced (for now)’. The mining sector has also been dampened by Alcoa's results last night; the aluminium giant cut its forecasts for global aluminium demand growth this year from seven per cent to six per cent. Outsourcing group Capita is also out of favour after both RBC Capital Markets and Panmure Gordon downgraded their ratings for the stock. London’s benchmark is down 19 points at 5,792.
1333: This is what Barclays is saying about today's positive surprise in French industrial production data: "The August increase, despite being driven to some extend by the volatile transport component, is still a very positive development. It mirrors and amplifies the positive surprise in German IP earlier this week (…) Given the resilience of hard data during the last quarters relative to weak surveys, we expect some improvement in sentiment in the coming months as political uncertainties (domestic and European level) recede." FTSE 100 down 16 to 5,795.
1255: The BAE Systems and EADS merger is now again being reported to be off. EADS is up by just over 2 per cent, and BAE down by a similar amount at the moment.
1247: In its October monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has lowered its forecast for the increase in world oil demand this year by 100,000 barrels to 800,000 barrels a day. Positively however, for the "macro" backdrop, the estimated growth in non-OPEC oil supply next year (of 900,000 barrels a day) is expected to outstrip the increase in global demand (800,000 barrels a day).
1228: Croda is now the worst performer on the top share index. Worth pointing out, its technical aspect is not encouraging, say analysts at Digital Look. For their part, over at Charles Stanley they were apparently of a similar mind, having written this morning that: "[its shares] closed at an all-time high of 2501p earlier this month but the stock has subsequently been losing ground, and the reasons for the weakness look to be pretty much the same as for Aggreko – the gain for the year is already 26 per cent and it’s highly likely that the share price is reflecting all the good new s (and then some)." The shares' simple 200 day moving average currently comes in at about 2,200p, exactly where they are trading now. FTSE 100 down 25 to 5,784.
1209: Imagination Technologies is now leading falls on the FTSE 350, with some market chatter attributing the losses to a negative note out on the company from analysts at Credit Suisse. In the same they have pointed out that: "Momentum looks negative: Of Imagination’s four key customers, Samsung this year moved to ARM graphics, Texas Instruments is exiting the wireless business, and Mediatek could, in our view, try ARM graphics in its smartphone chips as it already uses its graphics in feature phones and TV."
1137: Without hard work and imagination Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past, Cameron is saying.
1114: Interestingly, technical analysts at Charles Stanley were this morning pointing out that: " (...) and if there is a theme to today ’s note it is that a lot of stocks are starting to struggle to gain further traction from current elevated levels." As for Aggreko, one of today's worst performers, some are watching the 2160p level, the 50 per cent Fibonacci retracement of its most recent leg up. The stock is seeing renewed selling pressure after a profits warning out this morning from US outfit Cummins.
1047: Banks continue to lead gains, with some market commentary attributing that to a report in today's FT to the effect that the FSA has relaxed its capital rules for lenders in a bid to stimulate credit creation in the economy. Man Group is now the second biggest riser on the FTSE 350 and the best performer on the Stoxx 600 following renewed speculation that Blackrock might be interested in making an offer. FTSE 100 down 28 to 5,782.
0925: Shares of Lloyds are now leading gains on the top share index on reports that it is closer to selling close to 2bn euros of mainly Irish real estate loans. The UK’s second lender is said to have attracted bids of between 10 to 15 cents on the euro for its so-called Pittlane portfolio. Another European property deal involving a UK lender that seems to be getting done today involves the sale by Royal Bank of Scotland Group of two buildings in Frankfurt and Berlin to Axa Investment Managers -for approximately 625bn pounds- in the biggest German commercial real estate transaction this year, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reports. FTSE 100 down 13 to 5,797.
0812: There is every chance of the two-day losing streak extending into a third day as London opens on the back foot. Investors remain concerned about global growth after the International Monetary Fund cut global economic growth forecasts earlier this week. The usual clutch of ex-dividend stocks on a Wednesday is accentuating the top-share index's fall: Smith & Nephew, Wolseley, Tesco and Kingfisher are all trading today without the right to receive their most recently announced dividend payments. As well, analysts at Societe Generale have initiated coverage of Smith&Nephew at sell. FTSE 100 is down 6 at 5,804.