- FTSE declines 46 points
- Fed decision continues to weigh heavy
- Data across the globe comes in mixed
techMARK 2,662.03 -0.11%
FTSE 100 6,731.43 -0.68%
FTSE 250 15,479.95 -0.66%
The FTSE 100 fell 46 points by the close on Thursday as investors took stock of the Federal Reserve's policy decision and a raft of data released from across the globe.
The Federal Open Market Committee said it would keep its monthly $85bn bond buying programme unchanged, pointing to weaker economic growth that was hampered by the 16-day partial government shutdown earlier this month.
Many economists expect a reduction to quantitative easing will be held off until March 2014 but some interpreted the Fed's statement as a suggestion that this could come in December.
In other news, the UK Food Standards Agency today revealed that cans of beef imported from Romania have been withdrawn from two UK chains after they were found to contain horsemeat.
In other news, ministers have proposed plans to enable commuters who suffer repeat train delays could be sold cheaper train tickets in the future.
House prices climb at fastest rate in three years
UK house prices rose at the fastest annual pace in more than three years in October, according to data from Nationwide on Thursday.
House prices climbed 5.8% year-on-year, compared to a 5% increase in September, marking the biggest annual rise since July 2010. Economists had predicted a 5.1% jump.
Nationwide Chief Economist Robert Gardner said prices were boosted by government schemes including 'Help to Buy' and 'Funding for Lending', which have improved the availability and lowered the cost of credit.
Data offers a mixed picture
Initial US jobless claims for the week ended October 25th declined to 340,000 compared to 350,000 a week earlier, according to the Labor Department. However, it missed the consensus forecast for 338,000 claims.
"While claims data have been noisy for the past two months, we expect that they will resume their gradual downward trend in the coming weeks," according to Barclays.
A separate report showed consumer confidence in the world's biggest economy fell for a fifth straight week. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined in the period ended October 27th to minus 37.6, the weakest reading since October 2012, from minus 36.1.
In the Eurozone, inflation dropped unexpectedly and unemployment held at a record high.
The consumer price index dropped to 0.7% in October from 1.1% in September, according to a flash estimate from the European Union's statistics office. It missed analysts' estimates for inflation to remain unchanged.
The unemployment rate came in at 12.2% last month, in line with August, falling short of the forecast for the rate to fall to 12%.
"The latest Eurozone inflation and unemployment figures will increase pressure on the ECB to take further action to support the economy," said Capital Economics.
Meanwhile, market research institute GfK's consumer confidence index for Germany fell unexpectedly to 7.0 in November from 7.1 in October. Economists had predicted a reading of 7.2.
Croda disappoints with currencies and manufacturing sales
The losses on the FTSE 100 were led by Croda International, which plunged after warning on subdued underlying market conditions, the "significant devaluation of the Japanese yen and Indian rupee", and near-double-digit declines in "relatively low" margin but high volume commodity and toll manufacturing sales. Overall, turnover for the first half rose 4.4%, although underlying sales climbed just 0.8%.
Earnings declined more than expected at Royal Dutch Shell due to weaker refinery conditions, higher costs and lower volumes, pushing the stock firmly lower. Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said headwinds that continued to "erode the near term outlook" included weak industry refining margins and security issues in Nigeria but pointed to a strong flow of new projects and said Shell would increase the pace of asset sales.
Investec stuck to its 'sell' rating on Antofagasta's shares, pushing them firmly into the red, after the mining group's quarterly production report. Antofagasta reported a drop in gold and copper production in its third quarter reflecting lower grades at its mining operations.
Leading the risers was BG Group, after it predicted that production would recover in the fourth quarter, helped by the completion of its North Sea maintenance shutdowns and new projects coming on stream, particularly the Jasmine field in the North Sea.
Telecomms heavyweight BT today reported a 13% decline in half-year pre-tax profits to £948m, but said the recently introduced BT Sport package had made a 'confident start'. Shares in the group floated higher, encouraged by a 13% jump in the interim dividend to 3.4p and a reaffirmation of the full-year outlook.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BG Group (BG.) 1,273.50p +2.25%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 503.50p +2.09%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,267.00p +2.03%
BT Group (BT.A) 377.00p +2.03%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 357.40p +1.91%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,435.00p +1.34%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,848.00p +1.23%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,361.00p +1.14%
Meggitt (MGGT) 572.50p +1.06%
Aviva (AV.) 449.10p +0.99%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Croda International (CRDA) 2,436.00p -7.55%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,159.50p -5.16%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,076.50p -4.92%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 855.00p -4.74%
Fresnillo (FRES) 975.50p -4.27%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,640.00p -3.33%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,485.00p -3.19%
Hammerson (HMSO) 529.00p -2.40%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,255.00p -2.17%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,063.00p -1.94%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Afren (AFR) 157.70p +6.63%
SIG (SHI) 206.00p +4.20%
Xaar (XAR) 841.50p +2.00%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,234.00p +1.98%
Halfords Group (HFD) 423.50p +1.95%
ITE Group (ITE) 322.30p +1.64%
Cobham (COB) 288.20p +1.59%
Computacenter (CCC) 593.50p +1.45%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 819.00p +1.42%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 434.00p +1.33%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 104.50p -6.86%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 850.00p -5.03%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,340.00p -4.41%
Rank Group (RNK) 143.50p -4.08%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 181.60p -3.76%
Drax Group (DRX) 636.00p -3.71%
Polymetal International (POLY) 599.50p -3.62%
Telecity Group (TCY) 762.50p -3.54%
Dialight (DIA) 1,089.00p -3.20%
RPS Group (RPS) 290.00p -3.07%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Skyepharma (SKP) 99.75p +2.84%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 23.25p +2.20%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.73p +1.87%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 892.00p +0.91%
Optos (OPTS) 156.25p +0.32%
NCC Group (NCC) 164.00p +0.31%
Anite (AIE) 90.25p +0.28%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.78 +0.25%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 0.34p -4.17%
Puricore (PURI) 46.00p -4.17%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.25p -2.68%
RM (RM.) 114.00p -2.15%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 146.50p -1.35%
Ricardo (RCDO) 610.50p -1.29%
Promethean World (PRW) 19.25p -1.28%
SDL (SDL) 252.00p -1.27%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 140.50p -1.06%
Vectura Group (VEC) 110.00p -0.90%