Alexander Bueso Sharecast | 11 Oct, 2017 17:26 | | |
London stocks ended a touch lower on Wednesday in a pretty listless session, as investors awaited the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's September policy meeting, after the close.
The FTSE 100 finished down 0.06% to 7,533.81, while the pound was 0.02% higher versus the dollar at 1.3204 and 0.30% weaker against the euro at 1.1148.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said: "A lack of any real notable economic data from Europe today means the market’s attention will undoubtedly be geared towards the release of the FOMC minutes, with investors looking out for any clues as to whether a third 2017 hike will transpire. Amid a strengthening economy and a rising chance of Trump passing his tax cuts, there is reason to believe that we will see the role of monetary policy diminish amid a growing influence of government-led stimulus."
The FOMC minutes are due at 1900 BST.
Away from the UK and the US, investors were keeping an eye on Spain after Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont softened his stance on independence on Tuesday, looking to negotiate with Madrid.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "While Puigdemont remained clear that they had been given a mandate for independence by the Catalan people, his call for talks in order to find a peaceful resolution was the much preferred option at this stage. A declaration of independence on Tuesday could have led to a chain of events that made the situation much worse and seen Puigdemont arrested, likely leading to more unrest."
In corporate news, Smith & Nephew rallied amid speculation that activist investor Elliott Management has built a stake in the company and NMC Health was boosted by an initiation at 'overweight' by CI Capital Holdings.
Homeware retailer Dunelm racked up strong gains after it reported a 9.3% jump in total like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to the end of September, boosted by favourable weather comparatives and “strong” growth across the business, especially online, where LFL sales grew 46% to £19.9m.
Hargreaves Lansdown ticked up after saying it enjoyed a strong start to its new financial year, with solid levels of net new business flows and assets under administration swelling 3.5% over the first quarter or 21% over the same period last year.
Going the other way, Mondi tanked after warning that full-year profits will be below expectations, while Ibstock fell after saying Wayne Sheppard plans to retire in 2018 after 22 years with the group, including the last two as chief executive.
Retailer Next was in the red after Morgan Stanley cut its stance on the stock to 'underweight' from 'equalweight'.
Countryside Properties ticked higher after revealing a 28% rise in home completions for the year to 30 September.
Wood Group also lost a little ground despite being awarded a new multi-million dollar contract by Total.
Recruiter PageGroup was also weaker even as it said profit in the third quarter rose, while subprime lender Provident Financial was under the cosh as Barclays downgraded the stock to 'underweight' ahead of its third-quarter update on Friday.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Whitbread (WTB) 4,028.00p 3.41%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,928.00p 3.32%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,401.00p 3.09%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,289.00p 2.87%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 623.50p 2.55%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 7,685.00p 1.99%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,379.00p 1.50%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,611.00p 1.32%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,130.00p 1.25%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,416.00p 0.99%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Mondi (MNDI) 1,926.00p -7.80%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,210.00p -2.94%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,366.50p -2.15%
WPP (WPP) 1,372.00p -1.93%
ITV (ITV) 173.70p -1.47%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,430.00p -1.39%
Next (NXT) 5,050.00p -1.27%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,569.00p -1.14%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 463.60p -0.98%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 66.50p -0.89%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 745.00p 6.28%
IP Group (IPO) 138.70p 4.84%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 1,178.00p 3.88%
IWG (IWG) 327.00p 3.58%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 245.90p 3.10%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 226.70p 2.72%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 399.60p 2.49%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 337.30p 2.40%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 218.40p 2.10%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 613.00p 2.08%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Pagegroup (PAGE) 477.10p -9.21%
Capita (CPI) 544.50p -4.39%
Provident Financial (PFG) 800.50p -4.30%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 264.30p -3.58%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 627.50p -2.71%
Hays (HAS) 190.00p -2.26%
Spire Healthcare Group (SPI) 221.50p -2.21%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 490.50p -2.10%
FirstGroup (FGP) 113.00p -2.09%
Aggreko (AGK) 893.00p -2.08%
Despite Cobham share's outperformance over the past six months, Berenberg cautioned clients about the near-term strength of various of the firm's end-markets, alongside operational challenges that would require time to resolve and, for a time, scupper hopes that the dividend would be reinstated.
Octagonal updated the market on its trading on Friday, based on the unaudited interim figures for the six months to 30 September for its wholly-owned subsidiary, Global Investment Strategy UK, saying it was “extremely pleased” with the record revenues and profits achieved.
Support services group Marlowe updated the market on its trading for the six months to 30 September on Friday, saying trading in the first six months of the financial year was in line with board expectations.
Ncondezi Energy announced on Friday that it has agreed - in principle - to the terms of a non-binding offer with China Machinery Engineering Corporation and General Electric South Africa to enter into exclusive negotiations to develop, construct and operate the integrated Ncondezi 300MW coal-fired power project and open pit coal mine in Tete, Mozambique.
Analysts at Barclays Research believe Virgin Money's growth prospects are not reflected in the share price.
Lithium exploration and development company Bacanora Minerals announced on Friday that the environmental impact statement - the ‘manifestacion de impacto ambiental’ (MIA) - for its flagship Sonora Project in Mexico has been approved by SEMARNAT, the Environment Ministry of Mexico.
Elektron Technology confirmed it has completed the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary Sheen Instruments on Friday, to Industrial Physics.
DX Group reported preliminary results for the year on Friday, with revenue rising to £291.9m from £287.9m a year earlier, although EBITDA fell to £7.2m from £18m.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum, an independent operator and producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, confirmed on Friday that operations continued safely and securely despite political instability in the surrounding region, with average production of 34,525 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the Shaikan oil field since the start of October.
Existing home sales in the States broke a three-month streak of consecutive declines but were nevertheless labelled "meagre" by some observers, who warned that a lack of supply and fast price increases were putting a crimp in buyers' budgets.