London midday: Stocks maintain losses amid global slowdown fears
London stocks were still on the back foot by midday on Wednesday amid concerns about a global slowdown.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.5% at 7,288.21, having taken its opening cue from Wall Street, where stocks ended sharply lower on the back of disappointing data.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "With signs that consumer confidence is seeping away, worries that global growth will go down the drain have returned to rattle financial markets. Indices on Wall Street sank into the red, dampening hopes that a floor to the sell-off might be in sight.
"The nervousness has pervaded trading in Asia, with the Nikkei in Japan, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite all sharply lower and the London’s FTSE 100 has opened in negative territory.
"Covid restrictions may have eased for international travellers to China as infections rates slow, but one global problem is being replaced by another - fear that recessions are looming around the world. The latest consumer confidence snapshot for the US, from a Conference Board survey, showed a sharp deterioration in optimism as shoppers are faced with a mountain of price rises."
In equity markets, British Land and Land Securities both slid after rating downgrades at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Workspace was also down after a rating cut by BofA ML.
Drinks maker Diageo was knocked lower by a downgrade to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’ at Deutsche Bank, while Anglo American was off after a downgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ by the same outfit.
Cruise operator Carnival tumbled after Morgan Stanley slashed its price target on the shares and reiterated its ‘underweight’ rating.
Greeting cards and gifts retailer Moonpig slumped after it posted a drop in full -year adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue.
On the upside, Severn Trent and United Utilities were higher, recovering some ground after being hit on Tuesday by a research note from JPMorgan.
Variety goods retailer B&M European Value Retail rose even as it said that UK first-quarter like-for-like revenue fell 9.1% as "exceptionally high sales" last year during Covid lockdowns distorted comparatives.
888 rallied following a Times report that the UK government White Paper on reforming the gambling sector will include measures such as online casinos having maximum stakes of between £2 and £5 with a ban on free bets. Broker Shore Capital said that if the measures reported by The Times prove to be correct, the outcome would be better than feared.
FTSE 100 - Risers
B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI) (BME) 386.30p 1.74%
BP (BP.) 403.60p 1.65%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 630.80p 1.64%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 379.60p 1.23%
Shell (SHEL) 2,203.00p 1.19%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,770.00p 1.02%
RS Group (RS1) 878.50p 0.92%
National Grid (NG.) 1,077.00p 0.65%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,031.00p 0.54%
Meggitt (MGGT) 789.20p 0.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Land Company (BLND) 472.00p -6.94%
Pearson (PSON) 741.20p -6.01%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 814.80p -5.63%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 701.60p -4.75%
Unite Group (UTG) 1,094.00p -3.95%
Diageo (DGE) 3,541.50p -3.76%
Informa (INF) 532.60p -3.09%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 113.36p -2.95%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,357.00p -2.65%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 791.00p -2.61%
FTSE 250 - Risers
888 Holdings (888) 173.20p 4.21%
Energean (ENOG) 1,164.00p 0.78%
International Public Partnerships Ltd. (INPP) 165.00p 0.73%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,652.00p 0.67%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 3,800.00p 0.66%
Capricorn Energy (CNE) 219.40p 0.64%
HICL Infrastructure (HICL) 177.00p 0.57%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 50.05p 0.50%
Syncona Limited NPV (SYNC) 201.00p 0.50%
Vivo Energy (VVO) 146.00p 0.41%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Carnival (CCL) 686.60p -12.06%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 494.50p -7.12%
Workspace Group (WKP) 606.50p -6.40%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 290.20p -6.27%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 642.00p -6.07%
Moonpig Group (MOON) 230.20p -6.04%
Volution Group (FAN) 341.50p -5.66%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 139.40p -5.59%
Darktrace (DARK) 312.10p -5.14%
Genus (GNS) 2,376.00p -4.96%