Date: Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
- Caution ahead of the EU summit
- Merkel still against eurobonds
- Chinese stimulus speculation does the rounds
Stocks rose moderately on Wednesday morning though the mood was still cautious with the focus on the upcoming EU summit in Brussels.
"With European equity markets having been confined to a rather tight trading range for most of yesterday more of the same is expected at least for the first half of today’s trading session ahead of tomorrow’s start of the anxiously awaited EU Summit," said Markus Huber from ETX Capital.
The summit will last for two days and leaders are expected to discuss specific steps towards a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund. "The problem with the EU meeting is that although expectations are very low for a positive outcome investors are increasingly running out of patience which is putting additional pressure on politicians," Huber said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated her staunch opposition to the idea of jointly-issued debt known as 'eurobonds'. However, she is thought to be considering allowing the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund to lend directly to bank bailout funds.
Speculation of additional stimulus measures in China lifted sentiment this morning after the China Securities Journal said that the world's largest economy could introduce "more proactive" policies. "Policies to stabilise foreign trade, expand infrastructure investment, fine-tune monetary policies and structurally reduce taxes may be introduced," said Matthew Nelson from Spreadex.
Banks were among the best performing stocks early on following slight falls the day before. Royal Bank of Scotland was a high riser, rebounding after its recent technical issues at Natwest. Lloyds and Barclays were also higher. Emerging markets-focused lender Standard Chartered rose after saying that the robust income growth seen in the first quarter continued into the second, although FX movements are still limiting the increase.
ICAP, Next and Compass Group were heavy fallers after going ex-dividend - from today, investors will not be able to get their hands on the companies' latest dividend payouts.
International outsourcing firm Serco continued to fall after saying yesterday that revenues in the first half to take a hit from tough conditions in America. BarCap downgraded the stock to 'equal weight' this morning and cut its target price from 600p to 560p.
Commodities marketer and producer Glencore International fell after confirming rumours that it is looking into shaking up management incentive arrangements as part of its multi-billion dollar merger with mining giant Xstrata. Xstrata was making gains after shareholder Qatar Holdings demanded a higher exchange ratio.
Food ingredients group Tate & Lyle fell despite winning a court case in the US against equipment supplier Whitefox Technologies.
Specialist chemicals maker Yule Catto said the challenging trading conditions outlined in its May update have continued through the rest of the first half. Demand at its Europe and North America business segment, remains subdued, as it battles against deteriorating business confidence as economic uncertainty continues. Shares were down around 16%.
Online gaming company bwin.party fell after saying a potential buyer for its Ongame poker network has pulled out of discussions.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.60p +1.68%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 231.50p +1.67%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 491.60p +1.65%
Barclays (BARC) 195.50p +1.61%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 683.00p +1.34%
CRH (CRH) 1,100.00p +1.29%
Amec (AMEC) 945.00p +1.29%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,820.00p +1.22%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,494.50p +1.16%
BT Group (BT.A) 203.00p +1.15%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ICAP (IAP) 343.00p -4.64%
Evraz (EVR) 251.20p -1.99%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 634.50p -1.70%
Glencore International (GLEN) 297.90p -1.59%
Next (NXT) 3,147.00p -1.50%
Serco Group (SRP) 522.00p -1.42%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,163.00p -0.92%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,419.00p -0.63%
Polymetal International (POLY) 926.00p -0.54%
Compass Group (CPG) 651.50p -0.46%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,662.00p +3.98%
Betfair Group (BET) 765.50p +2.75%
Man Group (EMG) 73.95p +2.71%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 301.50p +2.34%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 256.80p +1.99%
Shanks Group (SKS) 77.20p +1.85%
SIG (SHI) 94.85p +1.66%
WH Smith (SMWH) 525.00p +1.55%
St James's Place (STJ) 327.40p +1.55%
Spirit Pub Company (SPRT) 50.75p +1.50%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 148.00p -16.34%
Homeserve (HSV) 152.70p -4.44%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 242.30p -3.77%
Elementis (ELM) 187.50p -3.50%
Halma (HLMA) 402.90p -2.49%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 294.30p -2.10%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 84.20p -2.09%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,206.00p -1.95%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 116.00p -1.86%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 71.10p -1.86%
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