Date: Monday 30 Apr 2012
- Spain joins the UK in recession
- Man Group volatile ahead of Q1 IMS
- Aberdeen up after solid first half
London's blue chip index was trading near its lowest levels of the day by Monday lunchtime, snapping a four-day winning streak as Eurozone concerns were once again brought into the spotlight.
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 1.2 basis points at 5.869% by 11:55 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%.
"European stocks started the week mostly down after Spain followed the UK into a technical recession, as expected…Spain is expected to contract by 1.7% this year and remain in a recession for the rest of the year at least, following the deep cuts currently being implemented in order to cut the deficit.The news adds more despair to Europe’s fourth largest economy," said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
Hedge fund firm Man Group continues to be volatile, dropping over 5% by midday ahead of its first-quarter update due tomorrow. Including today's fall, shares are still 10% higher on the week but have dropped 24% in the last month on the back of M&A speculation.
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management was the best performer 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 making gains 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.
Insurance giant Aviva was lower 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 fell after announcing the launch of new products by its Oil and Gas division which are expected to expand its addressable market by over $500m.
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.
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. Meanwhile, Hikma Pharmaceuticals was making gains after Jefferies reiterated its buy rating on the stock, saying that the "recent sell-off provides a compelling entry point".
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.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 923.50p +3.30%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 282.80p +3.21%
Whitbread (WTB) 1,941.00p +1.78%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,708.00p +1.03%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,404.50p +0.99%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,985.50p +0.99%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,483.00p +0.95%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 565.50p +0.80%
Rexam (REX) 433.80p +0.77%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 694.50p +0.73%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Man Group (EMG) 101.60p -5.05%
SSE (SSE) 1,306.00p -2.17%
Schroders (Non-Voting) (SDRC) 1,125.00p -2.00%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,706.00p -1.95%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,584.00p -1.80%
BAE Systems (BA.) 297.70p -1.75%
ITV (ITV) 84.75p -1.68%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 30.73p -1.46%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 356.20p -1.36%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,540.00p -1.34%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Essar Energy (ESSR) 146.90p +9.38%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 632.50p +4.46%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 130.20p +3.33%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 151.00p +3.07%
Rightmove (RMV) 1,556.00p +2.37%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,535.00p +2.33%
Bumi (BUMI) 519.00p +2.17%
Chemring Group (CHG) 330.90p +2.13%
Fenner (FENR) 456.60p +2.06%
Invensys (ISYS) 215.50p +1.89%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 129.20p -10.84%
CSR (CSR) 225.10p -3.31%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 17.50p -2.99%
Ruspetro (RPO) 191.30p -2.89%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 184.10p -2.33%
FirstGroup (FGP) 196.70p -2.09%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,450.00p -2.03%
Northgate (NTG) 199.80p -1.96%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 105.50p -1.86%
SEGRO (SGRO) 225.00p -1.66%
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