Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 08 Nov, 2017 12:13 | | |
London stocks had turned a little lower by midday on Wednesday amid weakness in the housebuilding sector following a trading statement from Persimmon.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.1% to 7,506.30, while the pound was down 0.4% against the euro at 1.1317 and off 0.3% versus the dollar at 1.3125.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said sentiment was also being hit by rising fears over a potential no-deal Brexit, just 16-months away from the UK’s exit from the EU.
"A meeting between the US secretary of commerce and a number of international banks with a large UK footprint has led to an insistence that jobs will move abroad en mass in the near future given the current pace of progress," he said.
"With negotiations still faltering at the first hurdle, it is becoming increasingly likely that this government will lead us to a cliff edge, providing an increasingly bearish bias for the pound as we move forward in the absence of a breakthrough in negotiations."
In UK corporate news, Persimmon was in the red, dragging down peers Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey, after the housebuilder issued a statement that analysts said was light on detail, with no mention of sales rates, pricing or margins.
Marks & Spencer reversed initial gains to trade lower despite reporting stronger first-half profits than expected, as it announced a slowing of its food store expansion plan and the departure of chief financial officer Helen Weir.
Energy generation and supply company SSE also fell into the red as it reported a 14% drop in adjusted pre-tax profits for the six months to September and confirmed plans to merge its domestic business in the UK with Npower to form a new energy company.
Low-cost Hungarian airline Wizz Air flew lower despite lifting its profit outlook following record first-half results, with “robust” trading across all of the group’s markets.
On the upside, Workspace advanced as it posted a jump in interim pre-tax profit and net rental income amid good customer demand.
Tullow Oil nudged higher after it upped its full-year production guidance, while cyber security group Sophos gained ground as it raised its forecasts for new business.
Wetherspoon edged up after it said like-for-like sales in the first 13 weeks of the financial year were up 6.1%, while Esure rallied as it bumped up its guidance for the full year following a record third quarter thanks to a strong performance in the motor division.
OneSavings Bank was on the front foot as it reported 17% growth in its loan book for the first nine months of the year, driven primarily by its buy-to-let activities, and upgraded its loan book growth forecast.
In broker note action, Mondi was boosted by an upgrade to ‘overweight’ from ‘equalweight’ by Morgan Stanley, while Indivior was lifted by an upgrade to ‘buy’ at Citi. But AB Foods was hit as Goldman Sachs cut its stance on the Primark owner to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Imperial Brands (IMB) 3,180.00p 2.58%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 607.00p 2.19%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,841.00p 2.11%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,311.00p 1.47%
CRH (CRH) 2,736.00p 1.41%
ITV (ITV) 160.50p 1.39%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,763.00p 0.79%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 955.50p 0.68%
Centrica (CNA) 170.00p 0.65%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,965.00p 0.65%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Persimmon (PSN) 2,763.00p -3.86%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,268.00p -2.84%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 196.50p -2.29%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,146.00p -2.24%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 637.00p -2.23%
NMC Health (NMC) 3,128.00p -2.22%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 599.00p -1.88%
SSE (SSE) 1,386.00p -1.70%
G4S (GFS) 262.30p -1.58%
BAE Systems (BA.) 571.00p -1.38%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Sophos Group (SOPH) 644.50p 4.88%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 413.00p 3.90%
Workspace Group (WKP) 935.00p 3.20%
esure Group (ESUR) 264.00p 2.68%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 229.50p 2.09%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 621.50p 1.89%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 820.00p 1.80%
GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd (GCP) 126.20p 1.77%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 348.50p 1.75%
Indivior (INDV) 387.00p 1.63%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 3,078.00p -7.71%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,729.00p -3.46%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 1,157.00p -3.18%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 543.00p -2.51%
Redrow (RDW) 632.50p -2.39%
Cobham (COB) 132.90p -2.14%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 265.50p -2.07%
Redefine International (RDI) 37.72p -2.03%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 254.80p -2.00%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 260.00p -1.89%
Wall Street went into the weekend before Thanksgiving Day slightly lower, with analysts continuing to mull developments regarding Russia's alleged involvement in the US presidential election.
In the UK, the focus will be on the Chancellor's Budget on Wednesday, with fresh data on public sector net borrowing on Tuesday possibly helping to set the tone for his announcements.
Stock in Merlin Entertainments is best avoided, The Sunday Times's John Collingridge says, pointing to the increasing headwinds the company is facing in the UK which will be compounded by the outfit's strategy of focusing on growth overseas.
It felt like a revolution. They came from all over the country and all walks of life. Young and old, opposition activists and party apparatchiks, white farmers and black war veterans, housewives and their maids. For years many of them had been on opposing sides, but yesterday they had one common objective. "Mugabe must go!" read the banners as thousands of Zimbabweans filled the streets of Harare draped in their red, yellow, green and black flag, playing music, dancing and hugging strangers. - The Sunday Times
Stocks reversed early gains as investors opted to play it safe going into the weekend and the euro edged a tad higher on the back of the political gyrations on Capitol Hill.
Stocks have started the morning trading slightly higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street but analysts are worried about buying into Thursday's bounce.
London's top flight index slipped on Friday, but managed to finish well-off its lows of the session despite renewed Brexit angst as the pound gave back early gains.
DIY retailer Kingfisher has more "reasons to be cheerful" thanks to an improving French outlook, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said on Friday, while clothes seller Supergroup remains "compelling" but its shares have gained a lot in recent weeks.
Real estate investment group Alpha Real Trust saw its net asset value (NAV) rise in its first half of trading as it moved to make further investments in build-to-rent projects.
Industrial and logistics-focussed real estate investment trust Pacific Industrial & Logistics has completed the sale of an asset located at Hammond Road, Bedford, for a total consideration of £5.8m, it announced on Friday.