London open: Stocks down on negative US and Asian cues, Hammerson drops on acquisition

Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 06 Dec, 2017 11:04 | | |

London Stock Exchange AIM LSE shares

London stocks fell in early trade on Wednesday, taking their cue from downbeat sessions in the US and Asia.

At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.4% to 7,300.27, while the pound was off 0.3% versus the euro and the dollar at 1.1335 and 1.3400, respectively.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Sterling just can’t shake its latest bout of Brexit sickness, while the European markets have been infected by the bearish trading seen in the US and Asia.

"With the DUP obstinate as ever, and Theresa May once again under fire for her bumbling, barely comprehensible approach to Brexit, the pound didn’t really stand a chance of recovering its recent losses this Wednesday.

"It seems that the usual negative pound/positive FTSE correlation has become a bit slack this week, with the day’s negative sentiment plaguing not only sterling but the UK index as well."

There are no major UK data releases due but investors will be eyeing Theresa May during Prime Minister's Questions at 1200 GMT, particularly after Monday's failed Brexit negotiations.

In corporate news, shopping centre owner Hammerson retreated after saying it has agreed to buy FTSE 350 rival Intu Properties in a £3.4bn all-share deal that will create a £21bn portfolio across Europe. Intu surged nearly 18%.

Medical technology business Smith & Nephew slipped after completing the acquisition of Rotation Medical Inc, which develops novel tissue regeneration technology for shoulder rotator cuff repair, for $125m, with a further $85m due over the next five years contingent on financial performance.

GlaxoSmithKline was a little weaker after it released new data from a Phase III clinical study which it said supports the safety and efficacy of Shingrix in preventing shingles when given to adults 18 years and above shortly after undergoing autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Shaftesbury was in the red as it announced plans for a placing of up to 27.86m new ordinary shares at 952p each, representing around 9.98% of the company and raising gross proceeds of up to £265m to fund a number of acquisitions.

Saga shares tanked after the over-50s specialist warned that profits in the current financial year would grow more slowly than expected and that 2018 profit would be down 5% on this year.

Marine engineering services group James Fisher edged up after buying Lancashire-based EDS, which provides a complete range of high voltage engineering services to the renewables industry, for up to £14.6m.

Stagecoach rallied after it kept its 2018 earnings forecast unchanged despite reporting a drop in bus revenue and passenger volumes for the first half.

EasyJet flew higher after the budget carrier reported an 8.1% jump in passenger numbers in November and announced new domestic German routes. It was also boosted by upgrades from JPMorgan and Investec.

Derwent London and Great Portland were up following upgrades by Credit Suisse, along with Land Securities.

More news

15 Dec London close: Footsie gains as pound drops, Wall Street hits fresh highs

The top flight index recovered some ground on Friday, but mostly on account of weakness in Sterling after German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly echoed other European Union officials, saying "the most difficult phase is ahead of us".

15 Dec Week ahead: US data, Catalan elections in focus

The focus in the coming week will continue to be on the ebb and flow of data out of the US, including Republicans' progress on securing passage of their tax cuts.

15 Dec US open: Stocks jump as Republicans move to secure passage of tax cuts

Wall Street is heading higher again on Friday amid news that Republicans were tweaking their proposed tax cuts in order to secure prompt passage of the US tax bill.

15 Dec Airbus chief executive to step down in board shake-up

The chief executive of French planemaker Airbus will step down from his position in 2019 as the company announced a major shake-up of its management team.

15 Dec FTSE 250 movers: TalkTalk rises but Serco gives back gains

London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.1% to 20,023.23 in afternoon trade on Friday as the Christmas lull kicked in.

15 Dec US industrial production rises slightly less than expected in November

Industrial production in the States rose slightly less quickly than expected last month, despite higher output of business equipment and materials.

15 Dec Strategic Minerals renegotiates acquisition of Leigh Creek Copper Mine

Diversified mineral production and development company Strategic Minerals announced on Friday that, after the successful completion of technical and financial due diligence on the Leigh Creek Copper Mine company, it has agreed to continue with the acquisition on renegotiated terms.

15 Dec FTSE 100 movers: Sky jumps but retailers retreat on H&M sales

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,469.23 in quiet afternoon trade on Friday.

15 Dec Gfinity partners with Microsoft for next Halo World Championship

International esports entertainment group Gfinity has been named as a preferred event partner to Microsoft for the forthcoming ‘Halo World Championship 2018’ for the next season, it announced on Friday.

15 Dec Hutchison Chi-Med begins fruquintinib trial in US

Hutchison China MediTech, known as Chi-Med, has initiated the United States Phase I bridging clinical trial of fruquintinib, it announced on Friday.