- FTSE drops 27.80 points to 6,836.30
- China, Eurozone UK construction in focus
- Supermarkets hit by Kantar data
techMARK 2,814.04 -0.30%
FTSE 100 6,836.30 -0.41%
FTSE 250 15,971.89 -0.70%
A slowdown in UK construction, concerns about growth amongst the Big Four, and Chinese data all contributed to a negative performance by UK stocks.
The FTSE 100 ended today's session 27.80 points lower at 6,836.30.
Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist at IG, said: "Yet again miners are driving the FTSE 100, after weaker manufacturing PMI figures from China dispelled the cautiously optimistic atmosphere that prevailed yesterday.
"Construction data showed that the previously radiant assessment of the UK economy was not entirely accurate, adding to the more negative tone to the session, and home builders came under pressure as a result. Supermarkets moved in lockstep after data showed that the major supermarkets continue to suffer from the presence of budget rivals, with Tesco's situation becoming even bleaker as its market share fell by 1.5%."
The supermarket is due to publish what is expected to be its worst set of first quarter results in 20 years, with predictions of a 4% decline, compared to a 2.9% decline in the previous quarter. Kantar Worldpanel revealed today that the company's sales fell 3.1% year-on-year over the past 12 weeks, giving it a market share of 29%, down from 30.5%.
UK construction expansion slows in May
UK construction activity expanded again in May, but at its slowest pace since last October.
The seasonally adjusted UK construction purchasing managers' index from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) fell to 60 in May from 60.8 in April. That was still above the 50 threshold indicating growth for the 13th month in a row.
In other UK news, house prices rose for the 13th month in a row in May, contradicting signs that the market is slowing down.
Prices rose 0.7% in May against April and were up 11.1% over the same month a year ago - up from 10.9% the previous month, according to the monthly house price index from Nationwide Building Society. Experts said prices had hit a record, surpassing the previous high in October 2007.
Eurozone inflation below expectations
European stocks slumped as Eurozone inflation slowed more than forecast in May.
Consumer prices in the euro-area fell to 0.5% last month from 0.7% in April, according to the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg today. Economists had predicted a decline to 0.6%.
Also in the Eurozone, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 11.7% in April from 11.8% a month earlier. Analysts had predicted the rate would remain unchanged.
Wolseley leads gains, but supermarket and miners slide
Giving his assessment of the situation on the top tier, Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: "Utilities and Basic materials were a drag on the FTSE with National Grid and Anglo American both down over 2%. Oil and Gas were the best of a bad bunch with Royal Dutch Shell in the green."
Currency movements put a dampener on third-quarter results at heating and plumbing products group Wolseley, but strong growth in the US and Nordic regions drove an acceleration in like-for-like sales to 5.1%, helping shares
to rise strongly throughout today's session.
Packaging and paper company Mondi Group climbed on the news it is set to acquire Graphic Packaging International's US bags and kraft paper business for $105m. The business's production base comprises an integrated kraft paper mill located in Arkansas, with production capacity of 135,000 tonnes a year, and nine bags plants across the States.
Anglo American was firmly in the red after Goldman Sachs reiterated its 'sell' rating and cut its target price from 1,240p to 1,180p.
Both Melrose Industries and William Hill were lower on the back of expectations they will both be demoted to the second tier index at tomorrow's quarterly review.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Wolseley (WOS) 3,363.00p +1.60%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,580.00p +1.35%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,470.00p +0.88%
Meggitt (MGGT) 493.50p +0.65%
Capita (CPI) 1,115.00p +0.63%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,370.50p +0.59%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,293.50p +0.55%
Rexam (REX) 545.50p +0.55%
Diageo (DGE) 1,916.50p +0.50%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,692.00p +0.49%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,380.00p -2.68%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,458.00p -2.25%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 194.40p -2.11%
William Hill (WMH) 350.30p -2.10%
National Grid (NG.) 877.50p -2.06%
Fresnillo (FRES) 785.50p -2.06%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 771.00p -1.91%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 355.20p -1.77%
Royal Mail (RMG) 517.00p -1.71%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 275.30p -1.64%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 304.00p +4.76%
CSR (CSR) 619.50p +4.12%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 206.90p +2.94%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 316.50p +2.26%
Synergy Health (SYR) 1,317.00p +1.94%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 352.00p +1.85%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,123.00p +1.72%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 62.85p +1.37%
Halma (HLMA) 602.00p +1.35%
Senior (SNR) 293.70p +1.31%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 307.90p -6.64%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,006.00p -4.01%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,154.00p -3.91%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,211.00p -3.53%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 259.50p -3.28%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 159.50p -3.22%
Greencore Group (GNC) 287.30p -3.14%
Pennon Group (PNN) 760.00p -3.00%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 226.70p -2.95%
Interserve (IRV) 629.50p -2.93%