Michele Maatouk Sharecast | 20 Mar, 2017 08:42 - Updated: 09:42 | | |
London stocks edged lower in early trade on Monday after closing at a record high again at the end of last week, as investors sifted through some corporate news and digested developments at the G20 meeting.
At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 03% to 7,403.07, while sterling was up 0.2% to $1.2419 and flat at €1.1534.
Spreadex's Connor Campbell said: "The pound is caught between last week’s dovish hike from the Fed, the Bank of England’s non-unanimous rate vote, where Kristen Forbes signalled that she believes an increase is in order, and Tuesday’s inflation figure, which is set to cross the BoE’s long held 2.0% target.
"Yet this hawkish haze hasn’t helped sterling out as much against the euro as it has against the greenback, with the pound still having a way to go before it reclaims its end of February/start of March losses."
The latest survey from Rightmove showed house prices in England and Wales rose 1.3% on the month in March to £310,108, marking the biggest increase since 2007. On the year, however, growth was 2.3%, slowing down significantly from 7.6% in March 2016.
In terms of regions, the strongest performance was seen in the Midlands, with East and West Midlands prices at record highs.
Prices in the East Midlands were up 2.1% on the month and 5.7% on the year, surpassing £200,000 for the first time. Prices in the West Midlands were also up 2.1% on a monthly basis, and 4.2% on the year.
Market participants were also mulling over the latest G20 meeting, during which finance ministers from the world's biggest economies dropped an anti-protectionist commitment following opposition from the US.
In corporate news, Vodafone nudged lower after agreeing terms of a $23bn merger between its Indian business and Idea Cellular, which is part of the Aditya Birla Group.
Facilities manager Carillion ticked down just a touch after saying it has won a £90m contract from the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation to design and build a communications centre in Cyprus.
LondonMetric Property advanced after saying it has bought two last mile distribution warehouses in Leeds for £12m, reflecting a blended net initial yield of 6% and a reversionary yield of 6.5%.
Hansteen Holdings was on the front foot after it agreed to dispose of its German and Dutch portfolios for €1.28bn to entities owned by funds advised by affiliates of The Blackstone Group and M7 Real Estate. In addition, the company posted a dip on 2016 pre-tax profit but lifted its dividend.
Pub operator Marston's edged higher as it agreed a new bank facility to replace the £257.5m existing facility that was due to expire in November 2018.
Kaz Minerals was also in the black after saying it has received $166m in VAT refunds so far this year as the tax paid during the construction of the Bozshakol and Aktogay projects has started to be returned.
G4S was under pressure following a downgrade by HSBC, while ASOS was hit by a downgrade from Goldman Sachs.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,688.00p 2.75%
Old Mutual (OML) 223.00p 0.77%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 271.70p 0.74%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,958.00p 0.67%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 303.60p 0.63%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,027.00p 0.49%
Pearson (PSON) 653.00p 0.46%
Capita (CPI) 573.00p 0.44%
Hammerson (HMSO) 580.50p 0.35%
BT Group (BT.A) 335.35p 0.30%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 720.50p -1.36%
BP (BP.) 458.45p -0.98%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,282.00p -0.81%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,322.50p -0.79%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,152.00p -0.74%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,214.50p -0.70%
Compass Group (CPG) 1,504.00p -0.66%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,065.00p -0.65%
Glencore (GLEN) 340.20p -0.61%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,781.00p -0.60%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 226.10p 3.53%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 124.50p 2.22%
Unite Group (UTG) 644.50p 1.98%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 806.00p 1.83%
Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL) 131.30p 1.47%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 483.70p 1.32%
SSP Group (SSPG) 413.20p 1.30%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 3,342.00p 1.18%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares (BHMG) 2,145.80p 1.17%
JPMorgan Indian Investment Trust (JII) 710.00p 1.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
IP Group (IPO) 164.00p -2.61%
G4S (GFS) 293.10p -2.59%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 458.80p -2.36%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 197.70p -2.27%
F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd. (FCPT) 141.60p -2.14%
Cranswick (CWK) 2,439.00p -2.05%
Redefine International (RDI) 37.01p -2.01%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 270.50p -1.74%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 182.00p -1.62%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 2,359.00p -1.50%
UK consumer confidence worsened slightly in April due to worries about rising inflation and flat wages.
Ultra Electronics said the expected improvement in trading from the new US government continued to be delayed as Federal budgets were negotiated.
Royal Bank of Scotland broke into the black in the first quarter of 2017, the first quarterly profit since 2015 as income, costs and margins all improved.
UK house prices have fallen for the second month in a row, with annual growth slowing to a near four-year low.
Wall Street bounced back quickly but modestly on Thursday as the peak day of the earnings season was rather mixed, with investors still getting over their disappointment over White House tax cut plans the previous day.
Lloyds Banking Group’s first quarter profit increased with the part state-owned bank still on track to meet its 2017 targets.
"In June we expect a change to a less dovish and more symmetric forward guidance that would open the door for depo rate hikes in 2018. In particular, we would expect modifications possibly to both the forward guidance on rates and on QE by removing the explicit reference in the statement to a scenario with lower rates and/or higher QE." - Philippe Gudin, Antonio Garcia Pascual, Barclays Research
Sterling sailed higher on most key crosses Thursday as investors liked the currency after pleasing UK retail data, European Central Bank holding interest rates and last night's US tax-reform disappointment.
European stocks declined for the first time in seven days despite the European Central Bank sounding a more confident note on the single currency bloc's economy.
On Friday the Office for National Statistics will reveal its preliminary estimate for UK gross domestic product growth for the first quarter.