London open: Stocks nudge lower ahead of services PMI
London stocks were a touch lower in early trade on Tuesday, having failed to hold on to opening gains, as investors eyed the latest reading on the UK services sector.
At 0850 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.1% at 7,225.17.
Market participants were mulling news that US President Biden could be rolling back some of the tariffs imposed on China during the Trump era.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, said: "Higher inflation has created a significant threat to the US economy, and there are higher chances of the US economy falling into a recession. Investors believe that if President Biden rolls back some of the Trump administration tariffs on China, it will positively impact inflation, meaning we could see inflation numbers falling but not significantly."
Investors were also looking ahead to the release of the S&P Global/CIPS UK services purchasing managers’ index for June due at 0930 BST.
In equity markets, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s gained even as it said first-quarter underlying sales fell 4% as consumers started to cut back on discretionary spending amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: "Despite something of a relief bounce in opening exchanges, the share price has reflected the company’s current travails, having dropped by 23% over the last year, as compared to a marginal gain of 1% for the wider FTSE 100.
"Competition in the sector remains intense, ranging from a resurgent Tesco to the price discounters Aldi and Lidl. The market consensus of the shares as a hold suggests that the jury is currently out on Sainsbury’s immediate prospects, with Tesco (strong buy) being the clearly preferred play."
Dechra Pharmaceuticals rallied after an upgrade to ‘outperform’ from ‘sector perform’ at RBC Capital Markets, which said "current levels provide an attractive entry point for what we see as a defensive business with good organic growth and history of solid execution".
Moneysupermarket was also in the black after an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Liberum.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 815.20p 3.87%
Croda International (CRDA) 6,738.00p 2.46%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 3,518.00p 2.45%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 117.40p 2.35%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 213.10p 2.26%
Aveva Group (AVV) 2,350.00p 2.13%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 10,315.00p 1.83%
3i Group (III) 1,102.50p 1.61%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 3,530.00p 1.61%
Halma (HLMA) 2,036.00p 1.55%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 609.40p -2.28%
Harbour Energy (HBR) 343.20p -1.91%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,088.50p -1.67%
BAE Systems (BA.) 823.60p -1.48%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,798.50p -1.46%
Glencore (GLEN) 429.05p -1.31%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 85.42p -1.29%
M&G (MNG) 190.15p -1.25%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,817.00p -1.22%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 127.16p -1.17%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 200.00p 9.29%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 420.00p 4.69%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 183.40p 4.32%
Ascential (ASCL) 272.20p 3.81%
Future (FUTR) 1,735.00p 3.09%
ASOS (ASC) 918.00p 3.03%
Darktrace (DARK) 296.00p 2.92%
Provident Financial (PFG) 200.40p 2.82%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 290.80p 2.32%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 1,058.00p 2.12%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bodycote (BOY) 511.00p -2.48%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 92.25p -1.55%
Ruffer Investment Company Ltd Red PTG Pref Shares (RICA) 296.50p -1.33%
JPMorgan European Discovery Trust (JEDT) 372.00p -1.06%
RIT Capital Partners (RCP) 2,375.00p -1.04%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 371.00p -0.96%
Virgin Money UK (VMUK) 135.00p -0.92%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,558.00p -0.83%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 462.20p -0.82%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 813.00p -0.67%