Date: Monday 18 Jun 2012
- Early gains erased as investors digest Greek elections
- New Democracy wins slim majority
- Miners, financials provide a drag on the Footsie
After a strong rise on the back of the weekend's crucial elections in Greece, stocks pared early gains as uncertainty still remains over the country's future.
The New Democracy party came out a clear leader in Greece’s elections at the weekend, beating far-left party Syriza. It is expected to form a majority coalition with pro-bailout partner Pasok which should be enough to allow the country to remain inside the Eurozone for now.
"The Greek elections over the weekend could not have gone much better for Angela Merkel and the rest of the Eurozone leaders," said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari. However, he noted the small "pull-back" already in equity markets on Monday morning, saying that any rally could be short-lived.
"If New Democracy and Pasok fail to form a coalition government, this could still open the door for Syriza to form an anti-bailout coalition, or lead to a third round of elections next month. Greece have a bond payment due before that time which could still threaten Greece's position in the Eurozone before a government is formed," Erlam warned.
European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj has said that the Greek election should calm the tension in peripheral bond markets, taking the pressure off Spain's credit spread. Nevertheless, investors will be looking ahead to Thursday when the results of the private audit of Spain's financial system are revealed.
Meanwhile, the G-20 leaders have assembled in Mexico and are expected to announce new funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, possibly, new economic stimulus measures.
With Greece continuing to cloud the outlook for the Eurozone, metals producers and banks were among the worst performers early on: Glencore, Xstrata and Randgold led miners lower, while Lloyds, RBS and Barclays also suffered losses.
Nomura maintained its 'neutral' view of the UK banking sector this morning, saying that while the initial reaction to last week's new stimulus measures was positive, "we see it more as a trading/short term rally, and a continuation of the volatile price reaction we have seen over the past year."
Hedge fund manager Man Group was lower after announcing that its Finance Director Kevin Hayes has quit. Jonathan Sorrell, currently Man's Head of Strategy and Corporate Finance, is taking over as Finance Director with immediate effect.
Supermarket giant Tesco was on the up after clarifying how it will get rid of its underperforming Japanese business as it battles to resume top-line growth in the UK.
Orbis, which owns around a fifth of Cable & Wireless Worldwide stock, said it would not try to block a takeover bid for the firm by Vodafone, boosting shares early on. Despite initially saying the offer of 38p a share was too low, Orbis said it now believed the deal was inevitable.
Engineering buy-out firm Melrose has confirmed speculation that it is in discussions to buy German group Elster, sending shares lower. Reports said the deal could be worth over $2bn, but the firm is so far keeping the terms of any deal to itself.
Diamond producer Gem Diamonds dropped after it revealed that production at its Ghaghoo project in Botswana will commence later than originally expected, as 'adverse ground conditions' resulted in the death of two contractors on site.
Salamander Energy advanced after starting drilling the Bualuang Far East-1 (FE-1) exploration well in Block B8/38 in the Gulf of Thailand.
FTSE 100 - Risers
SABMiller (SAB) 2,483.00p +1.18%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,319.00p +0.84%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,133.50p +0.76%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 608.00p +0.75%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 490.30p +0.74%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,122.50p +0.71%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,203.50p +0.69%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,227.00p +0.66%
Rexam (REX) 405.00p +0.62%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,906.00p +0.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.34p -3.05%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,014.00p -2.52%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 241.50p -2.46%
Xstrata (XTA) 869.20p -2.45%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 705.00p -2.42%
Barclays (BARC) 196.00p -2.39%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 940.00p -2.08%
Glencore International (GLEN) 333.75p -1.97%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,880.00p -1.51%
ITV (ITV) 72.00p -1.50%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CW.) 37.80p +7.91%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 120.10p +3.98%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 104.40p +3.37%
Spirit Pub Company (SPRT) 49.50p +3.12%
Carpetright (CPR) 700.00p +2.71%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 180.70p +2.44%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 465.30p +2.31%
Filtrona PLC (FLTR) 448.00p +1.91%
Mitie Group (MTO) 268.10p +1.86%
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 187.20p +1.85%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Petropavlovsk (POG) 467.80p -5.40%
Regus (RGU) 92.25p -5.38%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 410.90p -4.84%
SIG (SHI) 93.20p -4.46%
Personal Assets Trust (PNL) 34,470.00p -4.25%
Perform Group (PER) 371.90p -4.20%
Betfair Group (BET) 754.50p -4.01%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 479.50p -4.00%
National Express Group (NEX) 186.60p -3.86%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 201.00p -3.83%
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