London midday: Stocks back in the black ahead of US data
London stocks had moved back into the black shortly after midday ahead of the release of a fresh batch of key economic data Stateside.
Investors were also digesting the minutes of the US central bank's 26-27 July policy meeting released overnight.
According to Mickey Levy at Berenberg Capital Markets, the minutes "reaffirmed the Fed’s inflation-fighting resolve, while simultaneously stressing uncertainties over the economic outlook and disagreement among economic data that will complicate the Fed’s new mantra of “data dependence."
Against that backdrop, as at 1249 BST, the FTSE 100 was well of its session lows and edging higher by 0.0% at 7,520.35, while the second-tier index was up by 0.12% to 20,051.95.
At 1330 BST, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia was scheduled to publish the results of its closely-followed regional manufacturing survey for August (consensus: -5.0) and the US Department of Labor the latest weekly unemployment claims figures (Barclays: 260,000).
Existing home sales figures for July were due out from the Department of Commerce at 1500 BST.
In equity markets, Legal & General, HSBC and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust all fell as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.
Gambling company Rank Group lost ground as it said in its final results that trading conditions were likely to remain challenging in the months ahead with high inflation hitting consumer discretionary spend and inflationary cost pressures continuing to impact operating margins.
Building and landscaping materials company Marshalls was a little weaker as it held full year-guidance and posted a jump in interim profits, but noted that the tough economic backdrop would hit consumer confidence.
Telecommunications infrastructure company Helios Towers rose after it backed its guidance for the year and reported a jump in first-half earnings, hailing strong organic tenancy growth.
AO World surged even as the online electricals retailer said it swung to a full-year loss due to higher costs.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,166.50p 2.32%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 392.60p 2.00%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,608.50p 2.00%
Prudential (PRU) 967.40p 1.87%
Glencore (GLEN) 495.70p 1.85%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 719.80p 1.70%
BP (BP.) 437.80p 1.60%
RS Group (RS1) 1,158.00p 1.49%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,077.00p 1.27%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,725.00p 1.23%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aviva (AV.) 440.10p -4.08%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 271.90p -3.68%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,445.50p -3.02%
Abrdn (ABDN) 161.15p -2.92%
M&G (MNG) 207.90p -2.81%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,905.00p -2.07%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 143.50p -1.85%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 909.20p -1.37%
Kingfisher (KGF) 247.90p -1.31%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 126.60p -1.25%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,755.00p 3.78%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 122.30p 2.95%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 138.80p 2.74%
Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust (APEO) 440.00p 2.33%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,476.00p 2.23%
Workspace Group (WKP) 571.00p 2.15%
Bank of Georgia Group (BGEO) 2,015.00p 2.08%
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) 1,122.00p 2.00%
IMI (IMI) 1,252.00p 1.87%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 154.10p 1.85%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Auction Technology Group (ATG) 880.00p -4.97%
FirstGroup (FGP) 109.30p -3.36%
UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 73.60p -2.77%
Ascential (ASCL) 250.20p -2.27%
Bridgepoint Group (Reg S) (BPT) 258.00p -2.20%
Marshalls (MSLH) 445.60p -2.11%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 253.40p -2.09%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 141.00p -1.95%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 172.40p -1.88%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 73.60p -1.80%