London open: FTSE underperforms European peers as ex-divs weigh
London’s top flight index was just a smidgen higher in early trade on Thursday, underperforming its European peers as ex-dividend stocks weighed.
At 0840 BST, the FTSE 100 was up just 0.1% at 7,513.38
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: "After last night’s rally on Wall Street thanks to a better-than-expected US inflation report, European markets have followed suit trading upwards thanks to global risk-on sentiment.
"Basic resources are underperforming while technology and financials are leading the charge. The FTSE 100 is lagging behind…while the DAX, CAC and FTSE MIB push higher."
On the macroeconomic front, investors will eye the US producer price index for July and initial jobless claims, both due at 1330 BST.
In equity markets, Rio Tinto, Segro, Ashtead, Barclays, AstraZeneca, Jupiter Fund Management, Direct Line and Hiscox all lost ground as they traded without entitlement to the dividend.,
Elsewhere, miner Antofagasta was under the cosh after it reported lower interim profits due to a volatile copper price, a drought in Chile and concentrate pipeline problems at its Los Pelambres operation.
Spirax-Sarco Engineering was also in the red even as it hailed a "strong" first half despite headwinds, reported a jump in profits and said order books remain at record levels.
Drax tumbled after UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the company’s imports of US-made wood pellets to be burnt for energy wasn’t sustainable. According to The Financial Times, Kwarteng said it "doesn’t make sense" and told MPs that the government had not fully investigated the sustainability of burning wood pellets, a type of biomass.
On the upside, Ladbrokes owner Entain rallied after it announced a new drive to expand in Central & Eastern Europe and the acquisition of a Croatian sportsbook operator, as it posted a rise in first-half net gaming revenue.
Coca-Cola HBC fizzed higher after it reported half-year net sales of €4.21bn, beating market expectations of €3.98bn.
OSB also gained as it posted a 16% increase in interim underlying pre-tax profit to a record £294.1m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Harbour Energy (HBR) 376.70p 4.64%
Entain (ENT) 1,359.00p 3.86%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,040.00p 2.98%
M&G (MNG) 222.80p 2.34%
Aviva (AV.) 472.80p 1.70%
Abrdn (ABDN) 174.20p 1.66%
Glencore (GLEN) 477.50p 1.61%
Anglo American (AAL) 3,003.50p 1.57%
Shell (SHEL) 2,194.50p 1.15%
Prudential (PRU) 1,004.50p 1.04%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 4,838.00p -3.30%
GSK (GSK) 1,526.80p -1.91%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 150.60p -1.83%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,584.00p -1.68%
SEGRO (SGRO) 1,063.00p -0.84%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 4,648.00p -0.83%
Barclays (BARC) 168.72p -0.61%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 10,756.00p -0.57%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,187.00p -0.50%
NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 256.00p -0.47%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Network International Holdings (NETW) 220.40p 10.09%
Polymetal International (POLY) 221.10p 5.29%
HGCapital Trust (HGT) 405.50p 4.24%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 519.60p 3.92%
Dr. Martens (DOCS) 272.80p 2.94%
Energean (ENOG) 1,253.00p 2.87%
Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) 1,058.00p 2.72%
RHI Magnesita N.V. (DI) (RHIM) 2,080.00p 2.67%
Elementis (ELM) 121.20p 2.19%
Fidelity Emerging Markets Limited Ptg NPV (FEML) 624.70p 2.16%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 668.00p -9.24%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 2,105.00p -6.24%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 121.60p -5.81%
Coats Group (COA) 64.70p -2.71%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 213.10p -2.34%
Savills (SVS) 1,099.00p -2.22%
Man Group (EMG) 252.10p -1.91%
Helios Towers (HTWS) 137.40p -1.65%
Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 917.40p -1.18%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 277.40p -1.07%