1630: It was revealed today that UK producer price inflation eased to its slowest pace in almost three years during July, indicating that the official rate of consumer price (CPI) inflation will drop further in the coming months. According to the ONS, the output price index for home sales of manufactured products rose to 1.7% in the year to July, its slowest rate since October 2009. Meanwhile, also in July China, the world’s second largest economy, saw exports rise just 1% compared to a consensus estimate of a rise of 8%. Imports, meanwhile, grew less than expected. The year-on-year rise was 4.7% versus market expectations of a 7.2% rise. The FTSE 100 closed down four points at 5,847.
1342: Footsie remains modestly lower on the day and with US markets set to open on a dull note it is difficult to see where the impetus for any turnaround is going to come from. Outsourcing firm Bunzl is the worst performing blue-chip after UBS downgraded the stock to ‘sell’. FTSE 100 is down 21 at 5,830.
1150: Footsie bumbled along for most of the morning a little in the red, despite mining stocks recovering from the shocking Chinese trade data. Anglo-American and Antofagasta have both moved into positive territory and are among the top-share index’s best performers. FTSE 100 is down 13 at 5,838.
1045: Mining stocks continue to weigh down Footsie after disappointing Chinese trade data this morning. In July the world’s second largest economy saw exports rise just one per cent compared to a consensus estimate of an eight per cent rise. Imports, meanwhile, grew less than expected as well. The trade surplus narrowed from 31.7bn dollars in June to 25.1bn dollars in July. On the bright side, Barclays is basking in the warm glow of approval for its impending appointment of a new Chairman, while Aviva is on the up after further consideration of yesterday’s results, which received a lukewarm reception initially. Dixon’s decision to buy out minority stakeholders in its loss-making PIXmania unit has received the thumbs up. FTSE 100 is down 11 at 5,841.
0931: Financial services giant Prudential posted a half-year operating profit of £1,162m, up 13% on the previous year (2011: £1,028m), driven by strong growth in Asia and the US and a robust performance in the UK and M & G. M & G’s funds under management increased from £203bn at the year-end to £204bn. Gross investment inflows rose from £13,390m to £14,701m. FTSE 100 up down 6 at 5,845.
0811: Footsie has opened modestly lower, with mining stocks moving in lock-step lower. Barclays is a small risers after announcing City grandee Sir David Walker as its new Chairman. Walker will join the board on September 1st before replacing the outgoing Chairman, Marcus Agius, in November. Walker has served as Chairman of Morgan Stanley International and Deputy Chairman of Lloyds Bank, but also has experience in government as Assistant Secretary to the Treasury and Executive Director of the Bank of England. FTSE 100 is down 11 at 5,841.
Tags: anglo american | Aviva | barclays | footsie | four points | ftse 100 | price index | trade surplus | uk producer | warm glow