Date: Friday 18 May 2012
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,911.43 -0.62%
- FTSE 100 5,293.09 -0.85%
- FTSE 250 10,517.18 -0.72%
LONDON (ShareCast) - After hitting a low of 5,257 at around 10:30 Footsie clawed its way back up towards 5,300 for the rest of the morning session, encouraged by indications of a firm start on Wall Street, where all eyes will be on the Facebook flotation.
Miners remain under a cloud after Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for second quarter growth in China's gross domestic product (GDP) to 7.9% from 8.5% previously. The US investment bank has also pared its full year forecast for Chinese GDP growth to 8.1% from 8.6%.
Having said that, silver and gold miner Fresnillo and copper and gold miner Antofagasta are defying the trend, as the price of precious metals are driven higher by nervous investors.
Banks are under the cosh on continued worries over the future of the Eurozone and as the credit agencies weigh in with more ratings cuts.
Ratings agency Fitch cut Greece’s rating on Thursday to ‘CCC’ from ‘B-’ in order to reflect the heightened risk that the country may not be able to sustain its membership in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
Fitch added that should the new election scheduled for June 17th fail to produce a government that is committed to the EU/IMF bailout agreement then Greece’s exit from the Eurozone would be “probable”.
Meanwhile, as expected, rival debt ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded its ratings on 16 Spanish banks plus Santander’s British division, Santander UK.
In the mid-tier, revenue and profits at bourse operator London Stock Exchange came in ahead of expectations, with the group boasting of strong performances across all four of its business divisions.
Oil and gas focused engineer Kentz says orders are growing and it expects its full year figures to come in ahead of expectations.
Technical issues threw a spanner into the works resulting in production declining quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2012 at Heritage Oil, but that did not stop the group celebrating a successful test drilling in Kurdistan. The independent upstream exploration and production company said the Miran West-3 well in Kurdistan was successfully tested and is now being suspended pending completion as a production well.
Bus and train group FirstGroup is wanted ahead of results next Wednesday. Broker Charles Stanley reiterated its "hold" recommendation, as it reckons the price is unlikely to pick up before a rights issue or a change in dividend policy, or both. The earliest that can happen, in Charles Stanley's view, is November 2013.
Hansteen Holdings, the UK and Europe focused real estate investment trust (REIT), warned it faces currency headwinds as the debt crisis weakens the euro. The firm says occupational demand in Germany is "robust", and in the UK it is "stable but competitive" but in Benelux "the market continues to be difficult.”
Under the weather
It might be best not to mention the UK drought to SIG, the building products distributor, which has seen sales in the group's roofing business disrupted by heavy rains this year.
Meanwhile, "wet" sales have gone ex-growth in recent weeks at pubs operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), but fortunately food sales have picked up the slack. Like-for-like sales were up 2.7% in the 28 weeks to April 7th, with food sales up 3.4% and drink sales up 2.2%, but in the final 11 weeks of that period drink sales were down 0.8% in a year earlier.
Panmure Gordon responded to the interim update from M&B by trimming its full year forecast for profit before tax to £169m (30.9p earnings per share) and consequently reduced its price target from 240p to 225p, while maintaining a "sell" recommendation.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,368.00p +2.86%
CRH (CRH) 1,101.00p +1.76%
Centrica (CNA) 316.60p +1.51%
Polymetal International (POLY) 787.50p +1.35%
BT Group (BT.A) 204.50p +0.99%
BG Group (BG.) 1,244.00p +0.85%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 144.70p +0.84%
Tesco (TSCO) 315.70p +0.56%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 269.90p +0.52%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 296.70p +0.47%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 26.52p -4.09%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 949.50p -3.60%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 20.42p -3.04%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,094.00p -2.83%
Xstrata (XTA) 929.50p -2.79%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 462.50p -2.41%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,482.00p -2.31%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,039.00p -2.30%
Whitbread (WTB) 1,791.00p -2.29%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,794.50p -2.12%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 148.70p +5.91%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,018.00p +5.55%
Cape (CIU) 324.70p +3.31%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 220.60p +2.89%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 626.50p +2.29%
Perform Group (PER) 345.00p +2.07%
FirstGroup (FGP) 198.40p +2.06%
Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CW.) 34.32p +1.99%
SDL (SDL) 691.00p +1.92%
Marston's (MARS) 98.85p +1.91%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Home Retail Group (HOME) 75.75p -4.72%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 128.50p -4.60%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 218.40p -4.50%
Lamprell (LAM) 123.00p -4.28%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 567.00p -3.90%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 13.85p -3.55%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,889.00p -3.41%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 212.00p -3.15%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 142.00p -3.14%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 540.50p -3.14%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Asterand (ATD) 1.88p +50.00%
Emblaze Ltd. (BLZ) 46.00p +3.37%
Hiwave Technologies (HIW) 2.58p +3.00%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Antisoma (ASM) 1.65p -8.33%
Promethean World (PRW) 46.00p -6.12%
Filtronic (FTC) 24.00p -4.00%
Optos (OPTS) 201.75p -3.93%
Xaar (XAR) 215.00p -3.37%
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