Date: Wednesday 23 May 2012
- Market Movers
- techMARK 1,926.60 -0.47%
- FTSE 100 5,335.71 -1.25%
- FTSE 250 10,484.62 -0.90%
LONDON (ShareCast) - - Risk aversion ahead of EU summit
- Papademos warns of 'catastrophic' effects
- Burberry sinks after full-year results
The Footsie sank in early trading on Wednesday as investors showed caution ahead of an eagerly-awaited EU summit later on this evening.
Weighing on sentiment early on were comments from former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos who said that an exit from the euro would have "catastrophic" consequences for Greece. "Although such a scenario is unlikely to materialise and it is not desirable either for Greece or for other countries, it cannot be excluded that preparations are being made to contain the potential consequences of a Greek euro exit," he said in an interview with Dow Jones.
International pressure has been mounting on Eurozone leaders to take quick action to stave off the recession that threatens the region. The European Council, which includes the heads of state or government of the 27 European Union member states, is holding an informal dinner Wednesday evening at 18:00 London time, where the members are expected to discuss both the situation in Greece and measures to increase growth.
French President François Hollande is expected to press German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the implementation of the so-called ‘eurobonds’ (debt issued and backed by the entire Eurozone together).
FTSE 100: Burberry disappoints; miners tank
Iconic British luxury brand Burberry dropped early on despite reported solid profit growth in the year ended March 31st. Adjusted profit before tax increased by 26% from £298m to £376m, slightly ahead of consensus forecasts of £374.7m. One issue that may be weighing on the shares this morning was the guidance for unchanged licensing revenues this year, and lower operating margins in the first half.
Miners were also unwanted in the opening hour on the back of risk aversion. Vedanta Resources, Rio Tinto, Glencore, Xstrata, Kazakhmys, BHP Billiton, Fresnillo and ENRC were registering heavy losses.
UK banking titan Barclays was out of favour after it announced the pricing details of the open offer part of its recently announced sale of its stake in US wealth management giant Blackrock. Barclays has agreed to sell 26.2m shares of Blackrock in an underwritten public offering at a price of $160 a share.
International engineering company AMEC announced it was in discussions to buy Serco's nuclear Technical Consulting Services (TCS) business. Both stocks were firmly lower.
British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) was one of the few risers after the Competition Commission announced that it was no longer concerned that 'Sky Movies' has an unfair advantage over its competitors.
FTSE 250: FirstGroup surges on shake-up
Buses and trains operator FirstGroup was a high riser after saying that it is to shake up its UK bus operations to focus on those areas that offer the greatest potential for growth. The group announced full-year results for the year to the end of March that were slightly ahead of expectations, but counter-balanced the good news with a warning about the tough market conditions its bus operations face, particularly in Scotland and the north of England.
Online grocer Ocado rose after saying it expects year on year gross sales growth of around 13% for the 12 weeks ending 13 May as demand for online food shopping grows and it overcomes constraints at its warehouse in Hatfield.
London Stock Exchange Group fell sharply after two if Italy's largest bank put their interests in the bourses operator up for sale.
Elsewhere, AIM-listed oil firm Cove Energy surged after revealing a recommended cash offer of 240p per share from Thai group PTTEP, trumping Shell's (previously recommended) offer of 220p per share. The new bid values Cove at £1,221.4m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
National Grid (NG.) 675.00p +0.82%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 696.00p +0.80%
Sage Group (SGE) 256.10p +0.59%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 594.00p +0.34%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 172.50p +0.29%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 268.60p +0.22%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 295.40p +0.20%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 344.90p +0.17%
SSE (SSE) 1,347.00p +0.15%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 490.00p +0.04%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Man Group (EMG) 72.80p -6.25%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 992.50p -5.21%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,315.00p -5.12%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 701.00p -4.95%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,814.50p -4.15%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,331.00p -4.04%
Glencore International (GLEN) 347.00p -4.04%
Xstrata (XTA) 934.00p -4.00%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,035.00p -3.81%
Barclays (BARC) 182.15p -3.57%
FTSE 250 - Risers
FirstGroup (FGP) 216.90p +5.86%
Rank Group (RNK) 124.10p +3.42%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 589.00p +3.06%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 390.60p +2.20%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.59 +2.20%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 103.80p +1.96%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 708.50p +1.94%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 387.60p +1.92%
Homeserve (HSV) 163.80p +1.80%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 159.70p +1.72%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 948.00p -7.15%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 77.75p -6.55%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 217.40p -5.15%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 42.40p -4.20%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 401.30p -4.13%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 173.90p -3.82%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 150.90p -3.70%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 325.60p -3.67%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 409.80p -3.35%
Victrex (VCT) 1,313.00p -3.31%
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