Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 09 Nov, 2017 09:13 - Updated: 09:13 | | |
London stocks edged lower in early trade on Thursday as investors waded through a torrent of corporate news ahead of the resumption of Brexit talks.
At 0850 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,509.51, as the pound was up 0.2% against the dollar and the euro at 1.3138 and 1.1331, respectively.
Market participants were mulling over inflation figures from China, where the consumer price index and producer price index came in at 1.9% and 6.9% respectively in October, versus consensus estimates of 1.8% and 6.6%.
Also in focus was the latest housing data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which showed house prices were down in four areas of the country in October, with London, the South East, East Anglia and north-east England all showing declines.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: "The combination of the increased cost of moving, a lack of fresh stock coming to the market, uncertainly over the political climate and now an interest rate hike appears to be taking its toll on activity in the housing market."
Looking ahead to the rest of the day, investors will eye the resumption of Brexit talks.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: “I doubt many are optimistic on progress given how previous meetings have gone. Time is fast running out for both sides to agree to move onto transition and trade talks before businesses begin planning for no deal worst case scenario.
“This would be particularly problematic for the UK so any sign that we’re headed in this direction could be bad for the pound. It will be interesting to see how vulnerable sterling is to these talks over the next couple of days.”
Meanwhile, there was no shortage of corporate news for investors to sink their teeth into.
Shares in luxury fashion house Burberry tanked as new CEO Marco Gobbetti said he wants to take the group's clothes out of US stores where its products sit alongside less desirable goods to enhance their luxury credentials - a move that will hit revenues for two years.
Supermarket group Sainsbury’s declined as half-year profits dropped 9% and are not expected to turn positive in the full year.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals was under the cosh after it cut forecasts for its generics business for the third time this year as it blamed challenging market conditions in the US.
Housebuilder Redrow was on the back foot after it said trading in the first 18 weeks of the new financial year was in line with expectations, but noted a slight slowdown in sales in recent weeks.
Builders merchants Grafton was down despite reporting a rise in revenue in the 10 months to the end of October, while retailer Supergroup retreated despite posting a gain in revenue for the 26 weeks to 28 October.
On the upside, AstraZeneca rallied after saying it now expects full year earnings to be towards the "favourable end" of its previous guidance.
Informa, the events and publishing company, was on the front foot as it said underlying revenue was up 3.2% for the first 10 months of the year, while retail property developer Hammerson rose after saying third-quarter total leasing volumes were up 17% on the same quarter last year.
Satellite group nmarsat rallied after posting a jump in third-quarter revenues while Auto Trader was up after it reported an increase in revenue and profit for the first half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,104.00p 2.20%
Informa (INF) 714.00p 1.64%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,596.00p 1.37%
Old Mutual (OML) 192.90p 0.89%
Hammerson (HMSO) 526.00p 0.86%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 612.50p 0.82%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 217.60p 0.79%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 743.00p 0.66%
GKN (GKN) 328.50p 0.61%
Prudential (PRU) 1,847.00p 0.57%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,797.00p -9.47%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,689.00p -2.99%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 192.40p -2.53%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 619.00p -2.52%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 228.20p -2.27%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,996.00p -2.06%
ITV (ITV) 158.10p -2.04%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 326.40p -2.01%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,890.00p -1.64%
Glencore (GLEN) 366.25p -1.33%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 156.90p 2.89%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 576.00p 2.86%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 3,110.00p 2.84%
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 360.70p 2.38%
3i Infrastructure (3IN) 198.60p 1.22%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 1,335.00p 1.06%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 287.90p 1.05%
Indivior (INDV) 388.40p 0.91%
CYBG (CYBG) 314.40p 0.90%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,141.00p 0.88%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Card Factory (CARD) 284.70p -7.35%
Vectura Group (VEC) 89.40p -7.31%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 969.50p -6.87%
Redrow (RDW) 608.50p -5.14%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,704.00p -4.75%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 788.50p -4.19%
Bellway (BWY) 3,496.00p -3.66%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 753.50p -3.40%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 527.50p -3.21%
Halfords Group (HFD) 323.10p -2.89%
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.