1336: Vedanta is still the largest percentage faller on the top share index after RBC weighed in with a downgrade of the company to ‘sector perform’ from ‘outperform’. Also weighing on the benchmark index is a downgrade from Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Tesco, to underperform from neutral. Deutsche Bank has also lowered its view on Home Retail, an action which is also weighing on shares of Next and Marks&Spencer. FTSE 100 down 22 to 5,906.
1109: The Footsie is now trading at its worst levels of the day despite a strong performance by energy and oil stocks. Vedanta Resources is leading the decline, falling 5.3%, pulling back after yesterday’s 7% surge on the back of speculation that it is looking to merge its two Indian subsidiaries, Sterlite and Sesa Goa. Credit Suisse has said today that ‘any progress on restructuring or minority buy-outs would be a strong positive’ but any such move wouldn’t be easy. The broker highlighted Vedanta’s attempt in 2008 to restructure KCM and Sterlite which met ‘significant resistance’ and did not complete. Ex-dividend stocks Reckitt Benckiser, Barclays and Carnival are also weighing on the blue chip index. In other news, minutes of the MPC meeting are out and they show that while members voted unanimously to keep interest rates at 0.5%, two members (Posen and Miles) argued in favour of increasing its asset purchase programme by £75bn, as opposed to the £50bn finally approved. FTSE 100 down 23 at 5,905.
1024: Footsie remains in the red but is keeping its head above 5,900. FTSE 100 is down 19 at 5,908. Shell’s B shares are down slightly after the company announced its intention to bid just under a billion pounds for Cove Energy, as it seeks to get its hands on the AIM-listed company’s liquefied natural gas assets in Mozambique.
0905: Footsie has started on the back foot, despite a warm reception to results from packaging firm Rexam and a bit of buying interest in part-nationalised lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds ahead of results this week. In contrast, Barclays is keeping company with the laggards. FTSE 100 is down 7 at 5,921.