- Chinese economic concerns weigh on sentiment
- ECB moves to make senior bondholders share burden
- G4S, Barclays, Sage, National Grid lead the fallers on FTSE 100
UK stocks were trading broadly flat by Monday lunchtime, though sentiment had been dampened by concerns over the Chinese economy and comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi.
After China registered its sixth straight quarterly slowdown in growth last week, Premier Wen Jiabao had some worrying words about his country’s economy as he noted that the expected rebound was still not as stable as forecast. ‘It should be clearly understood that the momentum for a stable rebound in the economy has not yet been established,’ he warned according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Meanwhile, the ECB is reported to have changed its stance by supporting the idea of imposing losses on senior bond holders to share the burden of the Spanish bank rescue. According to The Wall Street Journal, ECB President Mario Draghi is now arguing for senior creditors to be held accountable when a bank is pushed into liquidation.
Analyst Craig Erlam said: ‘Many will support the idea in a bid to take the burden off the tax payer. However, with the debt markets so fragile at the moment, the views haven’t been well received.’
FTSE 100: G4S tumbles on Olympics contract loss estimate
Security solutions firm G4S tumbled from the off after saying that it will incur a loss on its Olympics Games contract of £35-50m after failing to provide the number of staff for the event that it had committed to. Chief Executive Officer Nick Buckles said that the company is ‘deeply disappointed.’ The stock was being pressured down further by downgrades by both UBS and Jefferies this morning.
UK banking group Barclays was suffering ahead of a meeting between the Treasury Select Committee and the lender’s former Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier, one of the men at the centre of the LIBOR-fixing scandal.
Accountancy software leviathan Sage said it was still waiting for the looked-for pick-up in Europe to happen. While the group assured that it has been trading broadly in line with expectations since the end of March, that didn’t stop shares falling over 3% today.
National Grid, Britain’s biggest distributor of gas and electricity, was lower on the back of Ofgem’s plans for the upgrade of the UK’s power network. The firm says the initial plans, which envisage up to £22bn of investment between 2013 and 2021, ‘differ substantially’ from its own business plan.
Meanwhile, miners were also providing a drag on the Footsie as a result of Wen’s comments. Nomura was also providing downward pressure on the sector today after slashing its target prices for numerous miners, citing lower commodity prices. Randgold, Polymetal, ENRC and Kazakhmys were firmly out of favour.
Shares in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline were higher on the back of reports that it is expected to announce a $2.8bn takeover of Human Genome Sciences at some point today. Reuters, citing people close to the matter, said that the drug-maker is to raise its bid from $13 per share to $14 per share.
Aviation services and newspaper distribution group John Menzies was wanted after announcing that it is to close down its cargo operations at airports in Glasgow, Birmingham, the East Midlands and Manchester.
Recruitment firm SThree was lower after posting a 16.9% drop in half-year pre-tax profit as it expanded its international network but maintained its dividend payment.
AIM-listed oil and gas group Borders & Southern plummeted 70% after saying that it has been forced to plug and abandon its Stebbing well after being unable to reach all its potential reservoir targets due to ‘anomalous pressure conditions’.
FTSE 100 – Risers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 218.80p +3.01%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 159.40p +2.31%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,058.00p +2.03%
Schroders (SDR) 1,339.00p +1.90%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 272.60p +1.23%
Kingfisher (KGF) 271.70p +1.15%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 878.00p +1.15%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 320.00p +1.14%
Tesco (TSCO) 317.30p +1.13%
Rexam (REX) 434.80p +1.12%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
G4S (GFS) 254.50p -8.68%
Barclays (BARC) 156.95p -3.21%
Sage Group (SGE) 276.20p -3.09%
National Grid (NG.) 678.50p -2.09%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 402.20p -1.61%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,830.00p -1.60%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 733.50p -1.41%
Polymetal International (POLY) 866.00p -1.25%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,215.00p -1.14%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,023.00p -1.08%
FTSE 250 – Risers
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 193.00p +7.76%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 129.50p +3.43%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 33.15p +3.37%
Computacenter (CCC) 315.90p +3.34%
FirstGroup (FGP) 195.50p +3.06%
Avocet Mining (AVM) 71.85p +3.01%
Ruspetro (RPO) 136.50p +2.94%
Britvic (BVIC) 281.00p +2.89%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 120.40p +2.73%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 506.00p +2.72%
FTSE 250 – Fallers
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 32.98p -2.17%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 103.30p -2.09%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 452.20p -2.04%
Soco International (SIA) 324.40p -1.91%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,461.00p -1.88%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 380.40p -1.60%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 207.50p -1.38%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 133.20p -1.33%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 164.40p -1.26%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 289.80p -1.26%