London midday: Stocks edge lower; Centrica hit by broker notes
London stocks had edged lower by midday on Wednesday as the prospect of higher-for-longer interest rates continued to weigh on sentiment.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,603.86. Overnight, stocks on Wall Street tanked after weak consumer confidence and home sales data added to concerns about the US economy.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "There may be a small pause for breath on Wall Street after the steepest sell off since March, but sentiment is unlikely to improve markedly signs of deteriorating confidence, while inflation remains off target.
"This week’s data points to weakening optimism about economic prospects, with new home sales in August falling 8.7%, a bigger drop than expected. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index also marked up a bigger fall in sentiment than expected. The unfortunate collision of disappointing data and stubborn inflation is causing a bout of anxiety which doesn’t look easy to calm. 10-year US Treasury yields have been pushed to the highest levels since 2007 as investors assess the prospects that interest rates will be forced to stay higher for longer, with fewer cuts anticipated next year."
In equity markets, British Gas owner Centrica was under the cosh after a rating downgrade at Morgan Stanley and an initiation at ‘sell’ by Liberum.
Property developer Land Securities lost ground even as it reported a rise in lettings over the first five months of the financial year as demand for office space held up, despite rising interest rates.
British Land, Derwent London and Great Portland were all knocked lower by rating downgrades at Jefferies.
On the upside, IMI was the top gainer on the FTSE 100 as JPMorgan said in a research note on the European capital goods sector that it was among the stocks to own for the balance of the year.
Ithaca Energy surged after the UK oil and gas regulator gave the green light for the development of Rosebank oil and gas field in the North Sea, in which it has a 20% working interest.
Wizz Air flew a little higher after an upgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘sell’ at Liberum.
FTSE 100 - Risers
IMI (IMI) 1,553.00p 3.67%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,127.00p 2.26%
Halma (HLMA) 1,925.50p 1.10%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 147.05p 1.03%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 9,322.00p 0.87%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 13,760.00p 0.77%
BP (BP.) 533.90p 0.57%
Shell (SHEL) 2,613.50p 0.54%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 148.80p 0.51%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 623.60p 0.45%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 646.60p -5.13%
Centrica (CNA) 159.40p -4.06%
Unite Group (UTG) 892.50p -2.99%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 588.40p -2.78%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 124.30p -2.13%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,311.00p -2.12%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 949.60p -2.02%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 256.80p -1.87%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 216.00p -1.68%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,573.50p -1.66%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ithaca Energy (ITH) 176.10p 7.90%
Close Brothers Group (CBG) 877.50p 4.90%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 259.40p 2.65%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,373.00p 2.46%
Ceres Power Holdings (CWR) 325.20p 2.07%
NCC Group (NCC) 102.40p 1.99%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 445.20p 1.92%
Playtech (PTEC) 466.00p 1.88%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 425.20p 1.87%
Impax Environmental Markets (IEM) 364.00p 1.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 940.00p -4.03%
Great Portland Estates (GPE) 415.60p -3.75%
Petershill Partners (PHLL) 147.00p -2.91%
AJ Bell (AJB) 274.00p -2.91%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 738.00p -2.83%
Derwent London (DLN) 1,855.00p -2.83%
Pennon Group (PNN) 595.00p -2.70%
Grainger (GRI) 234.80p -2.57%
Drax Group (DRX) 429.30p -2.45%
Marshalls (MSLH) 247.20p -2.45%