Date: Monday 02 Apr 2012
- Market Movers
- techMARK 2,056.44 +0.04%
- FTSE 100 5,767.33 -0.02%
- FTSE 250 11,542.33 +0.03%
LONDON (ShareCast) - - Chinese, UK PMIs beat expectations in March
- Eurozone PMI disappoints, jobless rate on the up
- RBS to dish out dosh to preference shareholders
London's blue chips pared earlier gains after some gloomy economic data from Europe. Miners were performing well after better-than-expected manufacturing figures from China, but were being outweighed by the banks.
Stocks were initially given a lift by some upbeat manufacturing data from China, which saw the nation's purchasing managers' index rise to an 11-month high of 53.1 in March, from 51 the month before. The UK PMI also increased to a 10-month high of 52.1, but the figures showed that the increase in UK output was heavily supported by a depletion in backlogs of work and record inventory building.
However, manufacturing data from the Eurozone was less cheery. Markit's PMI for the single-currency region fell to a three-month low of 47.7, showing that the manufacturing sector is still in contraction.
Furthermore, Eurostat revealed that unemployment across the Eurozone hit a 15-year high of 10.8% in February, compared with 10.7% in January and 10.0% in February 2011. Younger workers have been hit particularly hard by the crisis in Europe, with the unemployment rate across the 27 member European Union reaching 22.4%. In Spain youth unemployment is now at 50.5%, just higher than Greece at 50.4%.
Investors will still be looking at last week's decision by the 17 finance ministers of the Eurozone to boost the region's firewall to €800bn. Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter announced that the amount represents the €500bn ESM, €200bn in EFSF funds already assigned to Ireland, Greece and Portugal, €53bn in bilateral loans and €49bn from the original EFSM.
FTSE 100: MINERS RISE, BANKS FALL
Miners were providing a lift after the better-than-expected manufacturing data from China, which boosted hopes for demand in the metals industry. Fresnillo, Rio Tinto and Vedanta Resources were among the best performers. Randgold Resources was bucking the trend though after Nomura downgraded its rating on the gold miner late Friday night from buy to neutral on the back of concerns that operations in Mali could be affected by the military coup.
Heading the other way were the banks with Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) registering moderate losses, tracking their European counterparts lower - the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index was down 1.77%. Some of Europe’s largest banks are already planning on returning the funds they got through the three-year LTROs (long-term refinancing operations) run by the European Central Bank (ECB) according to senior bankers cited in a front page piece in today’s Financial Times (FT).
RBS was making headlines on reports that it is looking to resume dividend payments to holders of its preference shareholders to signal its progress on the road to financial stability. The firm also announced this morning that it is to sell some of its Asia-Pacific businesses to fast-growing Malaysian outfit CIMB for £75m.
Airline IAG was flying higher after the European Commission granted the authorisation needed for the airline to acquire British Midland Limited (BMI) from Lufthansa, adding that competition concerns were addressed by conditions that were part of the deal.
Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline was wanted after it reported positive results from an initial study into its development of a drug for HIV treatment.
Shareholders of real estate investment trust Land Securities were pleased after Robert Noel, previously Managing Director of the company's London Portfolio, took over from long-standing Francis Salway as Chief Executive.
FTSE 250: LSE SHAREHOLDERS UNDERWHELMED
It's all-systems-go for the London Stock Exchange's agreed takeover of clearing house, LCH.Clearnet, as the bourse operator confirmed it has received acceptances of its offer from holders representing more than half of Clearnet's shares. Shares however, were flat.
Specialist chemicals maker Yule Catto fell despite assuring that its operations had been unaffected by a large explosion at an industrial park in Marl, Germany.
House building and construction group Galliford Try was out of favour despite having reached financial close on the Gateshead regeneration programme, for which it was named preferred bidder a year ago
Brent futures for May delivery were down 0.34% at $122.47 in London.
The euro was up 0.1% (+0.0013) against the dollar at $1.3357.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,644.00p +2.88%
Pearson (PSON) 1,186.00p +1.80%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,793.00p +1.64%
Evraz (EVR) 375.50p +1.62%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 601.00p +1.52%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,547.00p +1.49%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,497.00p +1.48%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 823.50p +1.42%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,244.00p +1.30%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 181.20p +1.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 32.83p -2.32%
Barclays (BARC) 230.70p -1.93%
Man Group (EMG) 132.50p -1.71%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,219.00p -1.69%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 545.40p -1.69%
Standard Life (SL.) 226.40p -1.44%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,538.50p -1.38%
Aviva (AV.) 327.20p -1.30%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,300.00p -1.30%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,137.00p -1.30%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cookson Group (CKSN) 723.00p +4.63%
Ruspetro (RPO) 224.00p +3.70%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 524.00p +3.25%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 704.50p +2.92%
AZ Electronic Materials SA (DI) (AZEM) 296.40p +2.53%
Elementis (ELM) 188.40p +2.06%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 50.90p +1.50%
Soco International (SIA) 300.30p +1.45%
Berendsen (BRSN) 529.50p +1.44%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,094.00p +1.39%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
FirstGroup (FGP) 225.20p -5.26%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 170.00p -3.95%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 473.80p -3.31%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 135.80p -3.07%
Anglo Pacific Group (APF) 305.00p -3.02%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 606.50p -2.96%
Perform Group (PER) 301.30p -2.81%
Misys (MSY) 348.30p -2.71%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 775.00p -2.58%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 155.30p -2.51%
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