Date: Monday 30 Apr 2012
- Aberdeen leads risers after solid first half
- Randgold falls after broker downgrade
- Spain focus ahead of Thursday's bond auction
Following a four-day winning streak, the FTSE 100 opened broadly flat on Monday morning with the Eurozone again in focus as Spanish debt concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.
Spanish bond yields will closely watched this week ahead of the country's debt auction on Thursday, the first auction since the country's sovereign debt rating was downgraded by Standard and Poor's last week. Having downgraded Spain, the credit ratings agency has now announced that it is taking similar action on 16 of the country’s banks. The yield on a 10-year bond was down 0.6 basis points at 5.875% by 08:34 in London.
Meanwhile, the National Statistic Institute has revealed that the Spanish economy is officially back in recession, having contracted by 0.3% in the first quarter following a similar contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011. Nevertheless, the Bank of Spain recently estimated that the GDP decline would be 0.4%.
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management was the best performer early on after it reported a solid rise in revenue and profit in its first half which it says was down to a return of investor appetite for risk assets in 2012 and an ongoing desire for yield.
Satellite broadcaster and broadband group BSkyB was a high rise after Citigroup upgraded the stock from neutral to buy. Also being helped by a broker upgrade today was AstraZeneca, which had its rating raised by both JP Morgan Cazenove and Jefferies.
Heading the other way was Randgold Resources after Nomura downgraded the gold miner from neutral to reduce, saying that while the stock has de-rated in line with the sector, there is less potential upside than peers partly due to its political risk exposure in Mali.
Insurance giant Aviva edged higher after announcing a review of executive remuneration practises. It also said that chief executive Andrew Moss, who received a £2.69m package for 2012, would waive his pay rise for the year.
Engineering group Weir rose after announcing the launch of new products by its Oil and Gas division which are expected to expand its addressable market by over $500m.
Morgan Crucible was performing strongly after Jefferies upgraded the stock from hold to buy, citing the recent underperformance in the shares ahead of its interim management statement next week.
Despite the challenging conditions that have persisted within the financial markets, Fidessa continued to deliver growth during the first quarter of 2012. Progress has been made across the regions, particularly with larger customers as they seek strategic partners with scale, vision and resource to support their broadening needs.
Leading the fallers was platinum producer Aquarius after attributable production for the group's fiscal third quarter decreased by 7% quarter-on-quarter to 97,802 4E (platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold) ounces, as the group was hit by seasonal absenteeism, safety stoppages, industrial action and poor weather conditions.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 282.00p +2.92%
Whitbread (WTB) 1,944.00p +1.94%
Polymetal International (POLY) 910.00p +1.79%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 24.70p +1.44%
Evraz (EVR) 380.30p +1.06%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 674.50p +1.05%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 566.50p +0.98%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 105.70p +0.96%
Barclays (BARC) 225.25p +0.96%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,032.00p +0.94%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Man Group (EMG) 103.50p -3.27%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 528.50p -1.58%
SSE (SSE) 1,316.00p -1.42%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,540.00p -1.34%
Capita (CPI) 678.50p -0.95%
British Land Co (BLND) 492.40p -0.93%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,138.00p -0.87%
Diageo (DGE) 1,563.50p -0.70%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,164.00p -0.69%
BAE Systems (BA.) 300.90p -0.69%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Essar Energy (ESSR) 141.80p +5.58%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 333.00p +3.51%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,543.00p +2.87%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 622.00p +2.73%
ITE Group (ITE) 229.10p +2.60%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 129.00p +2.38%
TUI Travel (TT.) 194.60p +2.37%
Bumi (BUMI) 520.00p +2.36%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 149.60p +2.12%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 260.20p +1.92%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 137.70p -4.97%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 673.50p -3.09%
FirstGroup (FGP) 195.70p -2.59%
CSR (CSR) 227.80p -2.15%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 105.40p -1.95%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 495.90p -1.61%
Northgate (NTG) 200.60p -1.57%
Perform Group (PER) 305.00p -1.29%
Bodycote (BOY) 431.70p -1.24%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 186.20p -1.22%
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