Michele Maatouk WebFG News | 01 Dec, 2017 09:05 | | |
London stocks nudged higher early on Friday but gains were limited in quiet trade, with RBS in focus after it announced the closure of one in four branches.
At 0840 GMT, the FTSE was up 0.1% to 7,331.63, while the pound was down 0.3% against the euro at 1.1327 and 0.1% lower versus the dollar at 1.3516.
Investors were mulling news that the US Senate late on Thursday delayed a vote on the Republicans' tax reform bill until Friday due to problems with an amendment to address a large expansion of the federal budget deficit that is expected to result from the measure.
On the data front, Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers' index is at 0930 GMT.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "How the FTSE and pound perform as the day goes on will likely be dependent on the state of November’s manufacturing PMI. Analysts are expecting a slight increase, from 56.3 to 56.6 month-on-month; if accurate that’d be the best reading in 3 months, and could help sterling pick up where it left off yesterday."
Heavily-weighted mining stocks put in a solid performance as metals prices rose, with Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Antofagasta all higher.
Elsewhere, Indivior surged as it received approval from the US drug regulator to market its once-monthly injectable treatment for moderate to severe opioid use disorder, which analysts believe could lift company sales north of $1bn.
On the downside, Royal Bank of Scotland was in the red after saying it will close 259 branches and cut 680 jobs as customers shift to online banking.
Barclays was weaker as it sold a 7.0% stake in Barclays Africa Group Limited to bring down its total shareholding to 14.9%.
Countryside Properties was on the back foot as Oaktree upped the size of its accelerated bookbuild in the stock due to strong investor demand, selling 67.5m shares at 340p each, representing a 15% stake.
In broker note action, Babcock International was under the cosh after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to 'equalweight' from 'overweight' and slashed the price target to 800p from 975p.
Pendragon was lower as JPMorgan initiated coverage of the stock at 'underweight', while Vesuvius was hit by an initiation at 'underweight' by Barclays.
Ashmore was higher after an initiation at 'buy' at Canaccord.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,392.00p 2.43%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,293.50p 1.09%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,358.00p 0.97%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 917.50p 0.88%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,409.00p 0.86%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,692.50p 0.85%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,377.00p 0.83%
Glencore (GLEN) 342.30p 0.80%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 195.50p 0.77%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,528.50p 0.77%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 677.50p -2.80%
Kingfisher (KGF) 329.30p -1.41%
Next (NXT) 4,416.00p -1.36%
Barclays (BARC) 190.90p -1.34%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 309.10p -1.31%
BT Group (BT.A) 257.45p -1.28%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 559.00p -1.15%
3i Group (III) 891.50p -1.05%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 273.90p -0.98%
G4S (GFS) 254.10p -0.97%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Indivior (INDV) 412.30p 11.19%
P2P Global Investments (P2P) 809.50p 2.73%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 495.00p 2.51%
PayPoint (PAY) 942.04p 2.40%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,507.00p 2.04%
CYBG (CYBG) 319.20p 1.72%
Saga (SAGA) 185.70p 1.64%
SIG (SHI) 172.50p 1.59%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 374.70p 1.46%
Evraz (EVR) 290.30p 1.40%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Countryside Properties (CSP) 346.00p -5.08%
Royal Mail (RMG) 422.15p -4.47%
Rank Group (RNK) 238.20p -3.29%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,578.00p -1.93%
Vesuvius (VSVS) 550.50p -1.78%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 178.30p -1.49%
Elementis (ELM) 268.40p -1.47%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 151.00p -1.37%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 282.80p -1.36%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 258.40p -1.26%
Stocks finished on a mixed note after two rate-setters dissented from the Federal Reserve's widely-expected decision to hike rates.
Cyclicals paced gains on Wednesday, alongside a bounce in food retailers with financials figuring prominently ahead of interest rate decisions from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday evening, as well as the Bank of England and European Central Bank the next day.
A large swathe of US-focused equipment rental company Ashtead's top brass offloaded a large part of their holdings of stock in the company even as the price hit a 52-week high.
Stocks sagged as a weaker-than-expected reading on US inflation sent the single currency higher ahead of the US central bank's policy announcement later on Wednesday, with Italian stocks also battered by reports which, analysts said, held out the prospect for political instability in the Eurozone's third-largest economy in 2018.
Walt Disney is reportedly set to secure a $60bn deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, including its 39% stake in UK broadcaster Sky.
The US central bank went ahead with its third rate hike of 2018, as expected, but two rate-setters dissented, voting instead for no change.
London stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors digested some mixed UK jobs data and looked ahead to the latest policy announcement from the Federal Reserve.
Stocks are trading higher ahead of the US central bank's policy announcement later in the day, bolstered by a weaker than expected reading on consumer prices.
Thursday is a big day for the Brexit process as the European Council begins its two-day meeting in Brussels, while the Bank of England's and European Central Bank's rate setters are also convening and results are expected from the likes of Bunzl, Cussons, Ocado and Sports Direct.
US crude oil inventories shrank more quickly than expected last week, albeit a large increase in domestic output and an offsetting large build in gasoline stockpiles.