Date: Monday 17 Sep 2012
Footsie finished the day below 5900, having traded in a narrow range spanning from 5,883 to 5,916, as worries about Chinese growth weighed on investors' minds.
Last week London enjoyed a good run on the back of apparent enthusiasm of central banks worldwide to give the global economy a leg-up, but speculation mounted over the week-end that the Chinese authorities might not be quite as keen on sprightly intervention as previously assumed.
Adding weight to that view was the decision by economists at Citigroup to cut their forecast for Chinese gross domestic product growth this year to 7.6% from 8% before.
Rising tensions between Japan and China also weighed on sentiment.
Acting as a backdrop, some observers are openly questioning whether the Federal Reserve´s third round of quantitative easing (QE) will be effective or not. As the Financial Times called attention to today on its front page, citing an anonymous executive at a leading lender, "in the very near-term [QE3] has virtually no transfer mechanism whatsoever to the customer (...) originators are massively backlogged in terms of origination volumes."
Mining companies were generally off the pace, with the exception of a Lonmin and Aquarius Platinum, both of which benefited from developments in South Africa, where violent industrial unrest and tensions have been running high.
Mining operations have resumed at Aquarius Platinum's Kroondal platinum mine and at Xstrata's chrome mine near the city of Rustenburg in South Africa. American Platinum (Amplats) said work would resume at its strike-hit Rustenburg mines on Tuesday, although defiant striking workers cast doubt on Amplats's management's confident assertion.
South African police launched an offensive over the week-end to disarm miners and bring to an end five weeks of often violent protests which have interrupted mining in the area.
Global platinum powerhouse Lonmin, which said today that strikes at its mines in South Africa have reduced full year sales expectations to somewhere between 685,000 and 700,000 ounces of platinum by the year’s end in September, has resumed talks with its striking miners.
The dispute is in its sixth week but could be drawing to a close, with signs of a softening of the miners' demands for an increase in basic pay to 12,500 rand a month.
"We have been mandated to negotiate on a specific figure. The workers are not married to the R12,500,” said Jo Seoka, President of the SA Council of Churches, according to the South African Press Asociation.
Other news agencies suggest that the workers have lowered their demand to R11,000 a month.
Elsewhere in the resource sector, FTSE-250 oil and gas company Ophir Energy updated the market on its drilling programme in block R, Equatorial Guinea. These were better than expected, but the market was more concerned by an instruction by the Minister of Energy and Mines, Sospeter Muhongo, ordering the board of Tanzania Petroleum to review all of its agreements with energy companies. Ophir said it is fully compliant in respect of all its Tanzanian licences.
Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a setback on its Alaska drilling programme, with the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger barge sustaining damage during a final test of the containment system. The time required to repair the dome, along with steps taken to protect local whaling operations and to ensure the safety of operations from ice flow movement, have led the oil giant to revise its plans for the 2012-2013 exploration programme.
Anglo-Dutch household goods firm Unilever was wanted after UBS issued a "buy" note on the stock. The same broker has turned bearish on chip-designer Imagination Technologies, downgrading it to "sell" from "neutral".
Mining group Petropavlovsk was upgraded by Citi to "buy" from "neuitral", as the US bank believes the US Federal Reserve's renewed enthusiasm for quantitative easing will support he price of precious metals.
Telecoms titan BT was friendless after Exane BNP Paris downgraded the shares to "neutral" from "outperform".
FTSE 100 - Risers
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 338.10p +3.14%
G4S (GFS) 266.90p +2.26%
Capita (CPI) 753.00p +2.24%
Serco Group (SRP) 595.00p +1.54%
Next (NXT) 3,401.00p +1.22%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,432.50p +1.06%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,268.00p +1.02%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 652.00p +1.01%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,743.00p +0.92%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 688.50p +0.81%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 284.00p -3.30%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 156.00p -2.56%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,036.50p -2.28%
CRH (CRH) 1,251.00p -2.11%
Glencore International (GLEN) 370.85p -2.11%
BT Group (BT.A) 228.20p -2.06%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,216.00p -2.00%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,308.00p -1.95%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,075.00p -1.74%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,530.00p -1.67%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 53.00p +8.61%
Lonmin (LMI) 649.00p +5.61%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 38.25p +4.71%
Cape (CIU) 260.50p +4.33%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 110.40p +3.66%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 184.10p +3.14%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 447.40p +3.11%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 119.40p +2.75%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 441.00p +2.56%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 656.00p +2.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Fenner (FENR) 395.00p -5.75%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 569.00p -5.40%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 608.00p -5.15%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 568.50p -3.64%
FirstGroup (FGP) 253.60p -2.65%
UBM (UBM) 692.00p -2.60%
Kier Group (KIE) 1,366.00p -2.36%
Ruspetro (RPO) 109.50p -2.32%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 73.25p -2.20%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 263.10p -2.12%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
AEA Technology Group (AAT) 0.075p +25.00%
Antisoma (ASM) 1.73p +12.38%
Filtronic (FTC) 46.00p +10.84%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 137.75p +6.99%
Torotrak (TRK) 36.12p +4.71%
Vislink (VLK) 33.00p +3.94%
Pace (PIC) 166.25p +2.31%
Kofax (KFX) 305.75p +0.99%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,059.00p +0.86%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 66.00p +0.76%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) 47.00p -3.09%
Hiwave Technologies (HIW) 1.77p -2.74%
Skyepharma (SKP) 95.00p -2.56%
Psion (PON) 86.25p -1.71%
Emblaze Ltd. (BLZ) 47.75p -1.04%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 15.38p -0.81%
NCC Group (NCC) 918.00p -0.70%
Optos (OPTS) 179.75p -0.69%
Microgen (MCGN) 133.00p -0.37%
Sepura (SEPU) 74.50p -0.33%
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