London close: Geopolitical tensions and ex-div stocks weigh on FTSE

Digital Look Sharecast | 10 Aug, 2017 17:39 - Updated: 17:41 | | |

London Stock Exchange AIM LSE shares

London stocks stumbled lower as Thursday's session was dogged by continued geopolitical tensions over the US-North Korea situation, uninspiring UK economic data and a heavyweight bunch of stocks going ex-dividend.

The top flight index was down 1.44% to 7,389.94, alongside a 27.01% spike in the FTSE 100 volatility index to 13.60, with the more domestically focused FTSE 250 down 0.88% to 19,699.42.

European markets followed suit with the DAX down 1.15% to 12,014.30 and the CAC 40 off 0.59% to 5,115.23.

"Risk assets remain out of favour, as the threat of a conflict with North Korea pushes traders towards havens," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG.

The pound was down 0.09% against the euro at 1.1049 and down almost 0.2% on the dollar at 1.2978.

Earlier in the day, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that overall industrial production rose 0.5% in June on the preceding month, stronger than the 0.1% that the agency had calculated in for its preliminary estimate for the second quarter, after May's production was revised to flat.

Manufacturing production in June was flat, as predicted, after falling 0.1% in May, while UK construction output badly missed forecasts fell 0.1% month on month and rose 0.9% year-on-year.

Data released overnight by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) was weighing on housebuilding stocks, with the figures suggesting that declines are starting to spread beyond London as political uncertainty and tax changes weigh on the top end of the market. Taylor Wimpey as well as Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Bellway, Bovis and St Modwen were all lower on the day.

Companies going ex-dividend on Thursday included Anglo American, AstraZeneca, Barclays, BT, GSK, Lloyds, Rio Tinto and Royal Dutch Shell.

Among company results, Prudential easily beat analysts' profit forecasts at the half-year stage thanks to strong trading in Asia and said it had met its target for surplus cash generation ahead of schedule. Operating profits were 5% higher to £2.4bn (consensus: £2.02bn) on an IFRS basis and at constant exchange rates but 15% ahead at current exchange rates. PRU shares were down modestly though.

Interim results from FTSE 100 listed drinks bottler Coca Cola Hellenic lifted its shares as they came in comfortably ahead of market expectations.

Travel operator TUI flew slightly higher after reporting on a strong third quarter performance, with sales and profits taking off during the early summer months, although it left its full year targets unchanged.

Cineworld was higher as interims came in slightly above forecasts, with new openings on track and a strong second-half film slate underpinning full-year expectations.

Commercial and residential estate agency Savills was flat inspite of reporting strong first half results as Asia and London office sales offset a decline in the UK housing market.

Also rising was oil and gas services company Amec Foster Wheeler as pre-tax swung to a profit of £77m from a loss of £446m a year earlier, though.

Card Factory investors were celebrating as the retailer reported a 3.1% increase in first half like-for-like sales after opening 30 new stores during the period.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,389.94 -1.44%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,699.42 -0.88%
techMARK (TASX) 3,377.48 -1.06%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,592.00p 9.23%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 407.50p 4.89%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,475.00p 1.29%
WPP (WPP) 1,581.00p 1.22%
Centrica (CNA) 199.20p 1.12%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,112.00p 0.72%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,176.00p 0.67%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 934.50p 0.65%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,712.00p 0.62%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,553.00p 0.58%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

BT Group (BT.A) 298.90p -4.60%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,479.50p -3.32%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 64.83p -3.11%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,036.00p -3.07%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 189.10p -2.98%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,462.00p -2.92%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 589.50p -2.88%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,582.00p -2.53%
Glencore (GLEN) 331.45p -2.46%
Diageo (DGE) 2,473.50p -2.37%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 461.50p 5.29%
Greggs (GRG) 1,174.00p 5.10%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 633.00p 4.80%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,976.00p 4.27%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 723.50p 2.99%
Evraz (EVR) 270.80p 2.07%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 195.70p 1.93%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 224.00p 1.40%
Polymetal International (POLY) 946.00p 1.28%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 195.00p 0.98%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Ibstock (IBST) 232.50p -6.21%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 380.70p -5.78%
Greene King (GNK) 663.00p -5.01%
Northgate (NTG) 422.50p -4.65%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 338.80p -3.86%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,490.00p -3.76%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 27.88p -3.60%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 337.50p -3.46%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,740.00p -3.44%
Halfords Group (HFD) 319.80p -3.38%

More news

17 Oct US close: Markets finish higher amid busy earnings season

US markets finished in the green on Tuesday, with the Dow closing just short of the 23,000 mark which it breached for the first time ever earlier in the session, amid a busy third quarter earnings season on Wall Street.

17 Oct Europe close: Stocks slip ahead of US Fed Beige Book

Stocks on the Continent finished slightly lower as investors bid their time ahead of the release of the US central bank's Beige Book on Wednesday, against the backdrop of fresh intra-day records on Wall Street's main benchmarks with the Dow Industrials having climbed above the 23,000 point mark for the first time ever.

17 Oct Buy Spain as political risk is 'overstated' - Credit Suisse

Spanish equities look unusually cheap, said Credit Suisse on Tuesday, as political risk is "overstated" and the country is on track for at least 3% growth, with employment, housing and construction all on a growth tear.

17 Oct London close: Stocks move lower even as Sterling slips

London stocks closed lower on Tuesday even as the pound fell back against the dollar, albeit following a brief pop higher after data showed inflation surged to a five-year high last month, amid somewhat dovish remarks from Bank of England policymakers.

17 Oct Director dealings: Beazley executive director sells after profit warning

Adrian Cox, executive director of risk insurance and reinsurance group Beazley, sold 180,009 shares in the company on Tuesday at the price of 500p per share.

17 Oct Credit Suisse cuts Tate and Lyle's target price, reiterates 'neutral' rating

Ahead of Tate & Lyle's interim results on 2 November, Credit Suisse updated its forecasts and cut its target price to 710p while reiterating its 'neutral' rating.

17 Oct US open: Dow Industrials clambers atop 23,000 mark for first time

The Dow Industrials climbed past the 23,000 points mark for the first time ever, as the third-quarter earnings season got into full swing, and then slipped lower.

17 Oct Higher inflation means benefits pain for households, says IFS

State benefits for roughly 10m UK families will be reduced by £450 a year in real terms after inflation reached its highest level in five years on Tuesday, the Institute for Fiscal Studies calculated.

17 Oct FTSE 250 movers: Virgin Money gains on update, Workspace boosted by JPM note

London's FTSE 250 was down 0.4% to 20,140.65 in afternoon trade on Tuesday.

17 Oct Johnson and Johnson raises full year targets after strong third quarter

Healthcare giant Johnson and Johnson posted higher than expected profits for the three months to 30 September thanks to increased demand for its new cancer drugs and the additional revenue afforded to the group from its June acquisition of Swiss biotech company Actelion.