LONDON (SHARECAST) - - EU summit in focus
techMARK 2,113.81 +0.05%
FTSE 100 5,903.04 -0.24%
FTSE 250 12,079.89 +0.07%
- US corporate results disappoint
- Aggreko and Bunzl provide a drag on the FTSE 100
The Footsie was slightly lower by Friday lunchtime but was trading within a narrow range of just 19 points as investors awaited further news from the two-day EU summit in Brussels.
"The second day of the EU summit is under-way and keeping investors on the sidelines as the week draws to an end," said market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
So far, European leaders have announced that they would set up a Eurozone bank supervisor run by the European Central Bank (ECB) by the end of the year. “We have a date in place now for the legislative framework, which we didn’t have before – and that in itself is an important step forward," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
Markets are also digesting some worse-than-expected results from heavyweight corporates Microsoft and Google which were released last night in New York.
"Overall while disappointing tech earnings are weighing on the markets, this should be fairly short lived as they don’t necessarily come as that much of a surprise with especially the US economy having been sluggish and job growth been below par for quite some time," said Markus Huber, head of German HNW Trading at ETX Capital.
"Also much of this has already at least partially been reflected in the poor performance of some high tech stocks in the past few months compared to the main benchmark indices," he said.
In domestic news, UK public sector borrowing was £12.8bn in September, below the £13.5bn registered in the same month of 2011 and under consensus estimates.
FTSE 100: Aggreko, Bunzl and financials provide a drag
Shares in temporary power and temperature controls group Aggreko tanked this morning after a more or less 'in-line' third-quarter statement was dampened by some disappointing guidance with extra bad debt provisions and adverse foreign exchange rates expected to dent its bottom line.
Although many analysts chose to remain upbeat about Aggreko's long-term potential - Investec, Seymour Pierce and Jefferies all maintained their 'buy' ratings on the stock - shares were down nearly 8%.
Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl was a heavy faller after the third quarter saw a moderation in the underlying revenue growth rate, particularly in North America, where the company is going up against tough comparatives. Oriel Securities cut its view on the stock to 'hold' this morning.
Banking stocks were also hit this morning after last night's revelation about a further £700m in PPI provisions that Barclays has put aside. Nomura said that the bank faces several potential negative catalysts, such as: "potential cleanup costs with the arrival of a new CEO, potential to mark level 3/similar assets more conservatively, take more aggressive restructuring measure (provisions-wise) due to external pressure, challenges from forth coming regulation and a rethink around the capital position of the group."
Sector peers RBS and Lloyds were also out of favour, with the latter being weight down by a ratings cut from JPMorgan Cazenove to 'underweight'. Insurance giant Standard Life was also lower after being hit by a downgrade from Berenberg to 'sell'.
In contrast, shares in luxury fashion group Burberry were registering gains after Investec returned to its bullish stance on the stock and upgraded its rating from 'hold' to 'buy'. Analyst Bethany Hocking said: "The Burberry brand is far from broken, operational leverage should come through, and, whilst volatility will remain, we see long-term value here."
FTSE 250: Spectris jumps after "resilient" performance
Specris saw a robust performance in the final quarter of its financial year and while like-for-like (LFL) sales growth had slowed from the first half, analysts said that this was as expected. The instrumentation and controls company said that reported sales during the last quarter were up 12%.
House-builder Redrow was leading the downside after Chairman Steven Morgan last night ditched his plan to buy the company, bringing seven weeks of takeover talks to an end after falling four of Takeover Panel regulations.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,354.00p +2.93%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,171.00p +1.39%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 875.50p +1.21%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 749.50p +0.94%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 814.50p +0.87%
Capital Shopping Centres Group (CSCG) 336.00p +0.78%
Next (NXT) 3,627.00p +0.75%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 716.00p +0.70%
Pennon Group (PNN) 734.50p +0.69%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,361.00p +0.67%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aggreko (AGK) 2,119.00p -7.95%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,034.00p -4.44%
Evraz (EVR) 250.30p -3.32%
ITV (ITV) 88.90p -3.05%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 40.61p -3.01%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 350.90p -2.47%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 763.50p -2.18%
Barclays (BARC) 235.55p -2.14%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 281.10p -2.06%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,143.00p -1.80%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Spectris (SXS) 1,767.00p +10.85%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 187.90p +5.15%
Bumi (BUMI) 256.90p +4.81%
William Hill (WMH) 355.90p +3.64%
NMC Health (NMC) 188.10p +2.84%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 568.00p +2.62%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 134.00p +2.21%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 199.40p +2.15%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 110.00p +2.14%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 275.70p +2.11%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Redrow (RDW) 151.20p -6.95%
Man Group (EMG) 80.50p -3.48%
Chemring Group (CHG) 342.30p -3.11%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 203.60p -3.09%
Ruspetro (RPO) 107.00p -2.73%
Drax Group (DRX) 535.00p -2.73%
Premier Oil (PMO) 372.80p -2.36%
Telecity Group (TCY) 927.00p -2.27%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 138.90p -1.98%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 678.50p -1.95%