- FTSE 100 closes down 13.83 points at 6,743.94
- Diageo/SABMiller rumours provide lift
- easyJet leads fallers after broker comment
- Cable ends the day atop 1.71
techMARK 2,817.43 -0.02%
FTSE 100 6,743.94 -0.20%
FTSE 250 15,723.56 +0.27%
After a turbulent session it was ultimately a downbeat finish for London's blue chips, with this afternoon's losses reversing the gains seen early on this morning.
The FTSE 100 closed down 13.83 points at 6,743.94.
Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst at IG, said: "Early gains for the FTSE 100 have dissipated, while US markets have begun the week in uncertain form. Airlines are heading the losers in London, as easyJet's downgrade takes Int'l Cons. Airlines with it as well.
"The overarching story for the FTSE in 2014 is one of underperformance versus other indices, with regular bid talk perhaps the only saving grace for the index so far this year. Diageo was trotted out as another possible this afternoon, with SABMiller the suggested suitor, but the overall impact was muted.
"A stronger pound does take its toll on UK firms bringing profits back home, and for now the FTSE's international element, so handy in times of obvious economic growth, is now holding it back."
Raft of global data makes for choppy trading
The UK housing market slowed last month amid signs that a clampdown on lending is kicking in. UK mortgage approvals numbered 61,707 in May, down from 62,806 in April, a smaller-than-expected fall but still hitting their lowest level since June 2013, according to the Bank of England (BoE) this morning.
Economists said new rules launched in April as part of the Mortgage Market Review, which make mortgage lenders take more account of their customers' ability to pay, were having an effect.
Separate data from the BoE nonetheless did reveal a £3.4bn increase in lending to non-financial companies during the month of May - the first rise in nine months and the largest since the series began in March 2011. Dr.Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight warned however that it may turn out to be just another false dawn.
Investors were also reacting to a surprise drop in German retail sales and a subdued increase in Japanese industrial output, along with Eurozone inflation data which showed that price rises remained near a five-year low of 0.5% in June.
China's banking regulator announced changes to how it calculates lenders' loan/deposit ratios, which may allow for greater loan growth, MNI reported.
Looking ahead to Tuesday, SpreadEx's Samuel Fox said: "Investors will be looking ahead to tomorrow's session which comes with a packed economic calendar in Asia and European. High important data kicks off with GBP
Manufacturing PMI which is set to come in at 56.7 at 09.30, followed by US ISM Manufacturing PMI at 15:00."
RBC Capital lifts Fresnillo
Fresnillo was a late riser following reports RBC Capital had reiterated its 'outperform' rating on the miner.
Similarly, Aberdeen Asset Management climbed on reports Barclays had stuck with its 'overweight' rating.
Liberum Capital helped drive the rise amongst television related companies with its reiterated 'buy' advice on ITV, while Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated its 'market perform' stance on BSkyB.
Shares in Diageo and SABMiller were also on the up today after it was rumoured that the companies could combine, creating a drinks group worth over £100bn at current market prices. It is thought that Peroni and Grolsch maker SABMiller, the larger of two with a market capitalisation of around £54bn, could be eyeing a possible merger with Smirnoff and Baileys manufacturer Diageo in an attempt to ward off an approach from drinks giant AB Inbev, which has been rumoured as a potential bidder in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, easyJet was a big faller after Bank of America cut its price target and lowered its outlook for the airline, blaming its decision on higher fuel costs and profit warnings amongst other stocks in the sector.
Its peer, IAG was also flying lower, while Sports Director was hot on its heels as investors continue to react negatively to the group's recently announced bonus scheme that controversially includes founder Mike Ashley.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 872.00p +1.99%
Pearson (PSON) 1,154.00p +1.67%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 453.90p +1.45%
Rexam (REX) 535.00p +1.42%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,100.00p +1.24%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 904.00p +1.23%
ITV (ITV) 178.20p +1.19%
Diageo (DGE) 1,866.00p +1.00%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2,421.00p +1.00%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 315.30p +0.99%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,365.00p -6.44%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 370.50p -3.47%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 706.50p -2.35%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,238.00p -1.90%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 425.20p -1.55%
Barclays (BARC) 212.80p -1.50%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 74.25p -1.46%
St James's Place (STJ) 762.00p -1.36%
TUI Travel (TT.) 398.00p -1.36%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,889.50p -1.25%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Hiscox Ltd (CDI) (HSX) 707.00p +4.43%
Betfair Group (BET) 1,024.00p +4.28%
NMC Health (NMC) 500.00p +4.17%
Genus (GNS) 1,147.00p +3.89%
Homeserve (HSV) 322.00p +3.01%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 188.30p +2.95%
Man Group (EMG) 105.20p +2.94%
Pace (PIC) 355.00p +2.84%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,022.00p +2.82%
Ted Baker (TED) 1,811.00p +2.66%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
AO World (AO.) 257.50p -5.05%
Evraz (EVR) 88.50p -4.63%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 925.00p -3.70%
Redrow (RDW) 272.20p -3.58%
Redefine International (RDI) 53.65p -3.33%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 835.00p -3.19%
FirstGroup (FGP) 126.60p -2.69%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 600.00p -2.44%
Booker Group (BOK) 129.70p -2.41%
Exova Group (EXO) 246.00p -2.19%