FTSE 100 movers: Anglo hit by downgrade; CRH gains on update
London's FTSE 100 was down 0.9% at 7,459.14 in afternoon trade on Wednesday as traders stepped in to book some profits following strength in the previous session.
Anglo American was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'neutral' from JPMorgan Cazenove, which exited its three-year conviction 'overweight' on the stock and recommended a tactical short Anglo versus long Glencore into first-half results in July/August.
JPM said Anglo's valuation no longer looks cheap and it is the most expensive of the diversifieds on free cash flow yield and price-to-earnings ratio. It also pointed out that Anglo is at risk of a $0.9bn cut to 2020 EBITDA in the event that Minas Rio does not receive a required Brazilian tailings permit by year-end 2019.
Sainsbury was in the red ahead of the Competition and Markets Authority's ruling on its merger with Asda on Thursday.
Antofagasta was weaker even as it reported copper production of 188,600 tonnes in its first quarter, which was in line with expectations and up 22.6% year-on-year.
Tobacco stocks British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands were under the cosh, with traders pointing to news on Tuesday that US-based Walgreens and Rite Aid plan to lift the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 from 18.
On the upside, Land Securities was the top gainer after an upgrade to 'buy' from 'hold' at Deutsche Bank.
building materials group CRH advanced as it posted a 7% jump in first-quarter like-for-like sales, said second-half earnings were set to be ahead of last year and extended its buyback programme. It also announced an agreement to divest its European Shutters & Awnings business to StellaGroup for more than €0.3bn.
Education publisher Pearson was on the front foot ahead of its first-quarter trading update on Friday.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Land Securities Group (LAND) 931.80p 2.60%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 1,977.00p 2.36%
Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX) 8,370.00p 2.01%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,669.00p 1.83%
Sage Group (SGE) 731.80p 1.39%
SEGRO (SGRO) 679.20p 1.25%
CRH (CRH) 2,614.64p 1.15%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,001.00p 0.99%
Pearson (PSON) 875.00p 0.90%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 387.60p 0.83%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 2,101.00p -2.96%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,361.00p -2.48%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 225.10p -2.30%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,029.00p -1.93%
Centrica (CNA) 105.45p -1.91%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,311.00p -1.87%
WPP (WPP) 919.00p -1.84%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 958.40p -1.68%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 661.60p -1.49%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,442.50p -1.45%