Date: Tuesday 29 May 2012
- Spanish concerns weigh on European markets
- Earlier optimism surrounding China outweighed by euro worries
- Banks slip into the red, miners trim gains
Miners had pared their gains by Tuesday lunchtime, meaning that the Footsie had slipped back to where it had started, as Eurozone concerns outweighed earlier optimism surrounding the Chinese economy.
Stock futures were on the rise Stateside pointing to a positive start on Wall Street as investors look to make up for lost time with US markets closed for Memorial Day yesterday. Newsflow from Greece improved over the weekend after polls showed the pro-bailout party New Democracy as the favourite to win the elections on June 17th.
"With the exact cost of a 'Grexit' unknown and conservative estimates suggesting it will be around €1 trillion, these polls have come as a relief to EU leaders and investors alike and although this by no means suggests a Greek exit won’t happen, it will bring some relief to the equity markets as we are seeing again today," said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari, citing an earlier positive start across Europe.
Markets rose strongly on Tuesday morning after Shanghai Securities News said that Chinese banks have "sped up" lending as the government fast-tracked the approval of infrastructure investments. However, by midday, markets across Europe were mixed, with Spain's Ibex and Italy's FTSE MIB suffering falls, while Germany's DAX edged higher.
After last week’s €19bn bailout of the financial institution Bankia, the market has been putting the pressure on Spain to take action and speculation runs rampant that the country could request assistance from the European Financial Stability Facility, pushing bond yields higher. Japanese ratings agency Rating & Investment Information downgraded Spain's rating from AA to A today due to the deteriorating fiscal environment and financial market turmoil, adding that it expects the country’s growth to continue to fall in the mid-term.
In domestic news, Bank of England’s chief economist Spencer Dale reportedly told the BBC Radio Scotland that a second round of quantitative easing (QE) will take time to have an impact and that inflation needs to fall further.
Leading the fallers was plumbers' merchant Wolseley which saw like-for-like growth slow down in its fiscal third quarter as it runs up against tougher comparatives from last year.
Banking groups were also providing a drag in London with heavyweight constituents RBS, Lloyds, Barclays and Standard Chartered among the worst performers.
Miners were still in demand on hopes of a stronger Chinese economy but they had lost some of their earlier gains. Nevertheless, Rio Tinto, Evraz and Kazakhmys were firmly in positive territory.
BG Group was in demand after saying it is to sell its majority stake in Brazilian gas distributor Comgás for around $1.7bn.
Advertising and media giant WPP rose after saying that it is to buy a majority stake in French digital data and campaign technology marketing group Predictys, as it attempts to widen its footprint in the digital industry.
The Government is to back down on plans to introduce VAT on hot savouries, such as Cornish Pasties, boosting shares of bakery chain Greggs. Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock from hold to buy this morning, saying that the 'pasty-gate' U-turn removes "significant financial and strategic risk for Greggs".
Bank note printer De La Rue fell sharply despite reporting revenues well ahead of expectations as it cautioned its current improvement plan is set to cost more than originally anticipated.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,199.00p +1.96%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,457.00p +1.75%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 829.00p +1.66%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 335.00p +1.64%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,204.00p +1.61%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,422.00p +1.50%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,180.00p +1.47%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,452.00p +1.40%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 139.00p +1.39%
Aggreko (AGK) 2,203.00p +1.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Wolseley (WOS) 2,208.00p -4.00%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 20.25p -3.39%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 25.50p -2.09%
Barclays (BARC) 177.45p -1.96%
Carnival (CCL) 2,057.00p -1.58%
Tesco (TSCO) 300.45p -1.33%
G4S (GFS) 277.20p -1.28%
Man Group (EMG) 72.25p -1.10%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,314.50p -1.09%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 640.00p -1.08%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Greggs (GRG) 490.70p +5.17%
Interserve (IRV) 297.20p +4.61%
RPS Group (RPS) 217.50p +3.77%
Michael Page International (MPI) 369.40p +3.27%
Afren (AFR) 119.80p +3.19%
Victrex (VCT) 1,373.00p +3.16%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 112.30p +3.03%
Hays (HAS) 74.05p +2.85%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,461.00p +2.74%
Soco International (SIA) 278.70p +2.69%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Exillon Energy (EXI) 95.55p -3.97%
De La Rue (DLAR) 975.00p -3.37%
Informa (INF) 350.40p -2.83%
Anglo Pacific Group (APF) 234.50p -2.29%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,102.00p -2.22%
Bumi (BUMI) 351.90p -1.92%
Shanks Group (SKS) 82.35p -1.67%
TUI Travel (TT.) 164.90p -1.67%
National Express Group (NEX) 189.70p -1.51%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 337.00p -1.43%
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