Date: Friday 27 Apr 2012
- Market Movers
- techMARK 2,028.45 -0.18%
- FTSE 100 5,766.08 +0.30%
- FTSE 250 11,408.70 +0.42%
LONDON (ShareCast) - - US futures flat ahead of GDP data
- UK investors shrug off Spanish downgrade
- Man, CRH, British Land rise after upgrades
The Footsie was trading firmly higher on Friday morning as investors shrugged off a downgrade for Spain and some disappointing UK economic data.
US stock futures were pointing to a flat start on Wall Street as markets await first-quarter gross domestic product figures from the world's largest economy. Economists are broadly expected growth to have slowed slightly from the 3% annualised rate seen in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Standard and Poor’s has downgraded Spain on concerns over its debt and financial institutions and holds a negative outlook. The agency has decided to lower the long- and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Spain from A to BBB+.
The credit ratings agency now feels that the country’s budget trajectory will likely deteriorate against a background of economic contraction and considers that its government will probably need to provide further support to the banking sector.
Meanwhile domestic news, the GfK UK consumer confidence index for the month of April has come in at -31 points, unchanged on the previous month. The consensus estimate was for a slight improvement to -30.
FTSE 100: Man, CRH, British Land higher after broker upgrades
Hedge fund manager Man Group was a high riser of the day after Societe Generale upgraded its rating on the stock from hold to buy. Earlier this week Swiss bank UBS suggested the hedge fund operator could be a takeover target as its shares have more than halved over the last year, and are down by a quarter over the last month alone.
Building group CRH and real estate investment trust British Land were also being helped higher by a ratings upgrade, this time from JP Morgan Cazenove which lifted its recommendation on both stocks to overweight.
Barclays was making solid gains after this morning's annual general meeting (AGM) with the focus very much on the contentious issue of remuneration for top-level directors. "We will continue to be solely motivated by what is in the best long term interests of you, the shareholders and […] will be engaging even more closely going forward with our shareholders whilst ensuring a greater proportion of income and profit flows to shareholders," said Alison Carnwath from the group's Remuneration Committee.
Pharmaceutical group Shire was among the worst performers today, pulling back of yesterday's well-received first-quarter results. AstraZeneca was also lower after yesterday scaling back full-year core earnings per share guidance and revealing that its CEO would be retiring.
Media giant WPP also fell despite after saying that it is reviewing its full-year forecasts after an impressive start to 2012 with like-for-like revenue growth coming in ahead of expectations in the first quarter.
Publishing giant Pearson was unchanged after an in-line first quarter statement. The company said it continues to expect growth in sales and operating profits this year.
FTSE 250: AZ Electronic Materials and Salamander provide a drag
Speciality chemicals producer AZ Electronic Materials fell after saying that group revenue was 4% lower in the first quarter after the challenging trading conditions experienced towards the end of 2011 continued, as expected.
Salamander Energy, the independent upstream oil and gas exploration and production business focused on South-East Asia, fell after announcing that it is looking to raise around $201m through an underwritten rights issue to accelerate its drilling programme. Investec downgraded the stock from buy to hold this morning.
Business communications group Colt was a high riser after revenue rose 5.2% in the first quarter with the company experiencing growth across all major product categories.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Man Group (EMG) 99.40p +6.03%
Barclays (BARC) 221.80p +4.13%
CRH (CRH) 1,264.00p +3.61%
ICAP (IAP) 379.80p +2.93%
British Land Co (BLND) 497.20p +2.88%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 275.30p +2.15%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 24.07p +2.08%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,405.00p +2.04%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 740.00p +1.79%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,138.00p +1.79%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BT Group (BT.A) 212.40p -1.71%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,017.00p -1.13%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,219.00p -1.06%
Kingfisher (KGF) 290.00p -0.92%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,119.00p -0.75%
Whitbread (WTB) 1,907.00p -0.73%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 170.95p -0.67%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,585.00p -0.62%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 3,568.00p -0.61%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,545.00p -0.59%
FTSE 250 - Risers
CSR (CSR) 224.60p +6.65%
Invensys (ISYS) 210.10p +4.58%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 144.90p +4.39%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 127.00p +4.27%
Genus (GNS) 1,401.00p +4.16%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 107.90p +3.75%
National Express Group (NEX) 216.20p +3.54%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 298.70p +3.50%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 181.80p +3.30%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 484.60p +2.97%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Kesa Electricals (KESA) 54.05p -4.42%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 250.10p -2.34%
Cobham (COB) 229.20p -1.88%
Supergroup (SGP) 342.70p -1.86%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,228.00p -1.60%
AZ Electronic Materials SA (DI) (AZEM) 312.80p -1.57%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 577.00p -1.54%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 129.00p -1.15%
Lamprell (LAM) 345.10p -1.12%
Premier Oil (PMO) 378.80p -1.07%
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