- Markets bounce off lows but still in negative territory
- Stocks tracking losses in US, Asia
- ARM, BP, Electrocomponents and Ocado lower after results
techMARK 2,747.57 -0.70%
FTSE 100 6,437.48 -0.44%
FTSE 250 15,494.78 -0.41%
It was a choppy morning for UK markets on Tuesday as stocks pared losses after bouncing off their lowest levels in nearly four months.
Nevertheless, a raft of disappointing corporate earnings and ongoing concerns about global economic growth ensured that equities still remained in negative territory.
The FTSE 100 was trading around 0.4% lower by midday at 6,437, having trimmed losses after reaching an intraday low of 6.416.72 early on - the last time the index closed lower than this was on October 9th 2013.
"Traders are treading lightly, not wanting to get stung if there is a sudden exodus from equities into cash or bonds," said David Madden, Market Analyst at IG.
The downwards pressure followed steep falls overnight in Asia and on Wall Street on Monday with the S&P 500
and Dow Jones Industrial Average ending with their worst losses since June 2013.
Data yesterday showed that manufacturing activity in the States slowed considerably in January due to the severe winter weather across many regions.
Plummeting temperatures were also to blame for sharp drops in car sales reported by many of the nation's big auto companies yesterday.
Meanwhile, there were renewed worries about the US debt ceiling after Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned that the federal debt limit could be breached by the end of the month.
Traders will also be showing nerves ahead of a key policy meeting at the European Central Bank later on Thursday and the all-important US jobs report due Friday.
ARM, BP, Electrocomponents and Ocado provide a drag
Chip designer ARM Holdings dropped sharply after its fourth-quarter results showed that Processor Division royalties came in below forecasts once again. Strong licensing revenues, however, helped top-line figures come in ahead of expectations.
Oil major BP was lower after it reported a weaker bottom line for the fourth quarter, leading to a steep drop in underlying profits for 2013. The company also warned that underlying production in 2014 would be lower than last year.
Electronics and maintenance products distributor Electrocomponents sank despite meeting estimates with underlying sales growth of 2% in the four months through January.
Annual losses at online grocery group Ocado widened significantly last year despite decent top-line growth as costs and expenses soared. Shares were also down this morning after the news that the group's co-founder and current Commercial Director, Jason Gissing, is to retire.
Morrison, which last year signed a 25-year agreement with Ocado to develop its own online shopping service, was trading lower in sympathy. In contrast, supermarket peer Sainsbury was a standout performer after analysts at Bernstein upgraded the stock from 'market perform' to 'outperform'.
BG Group was higher after increasing fourth-quarter revenue and other operating income by 16% as it partly offset declines in Egypt and lower activity in the US by new developments coming onstream.
Premier Oil surged after the news that Chief Executive Simon Lockett is stepping down from the company after nine years in the role.
Polymer producer Victrex impressed after saying that sales rose 6% in the first quarter and that the second quarter has "started well".
Precious metal groups Randgold, Fresnillo and African Barrick Gold were lower as they tracked the price of gold and silver.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Prudential (PRU) 1,236.00p +2.66%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,756.00p +2.61%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 383.30p +1.75%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 351.10p +1.62%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,413.50p +1.18%
BG Group (BG.) 1,037.00p +1.17%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,421.00p +0.99%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,776.00p +0.91%
Mondi (MNDI) 925.00p +0.87%
Sage Group (SGE) 412.50p +0.73%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ARM Holdings (ARM) 884.00p -4.95%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,308.00p -3.30%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,404.00p -2.23%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 296.30p -2.11%
Fresnillo (FRES) 766.00p -2.05%
BAE Systems (BA.) 415.80p -1.89%
Meggitt (MGGT) 505.00p -1.56%
BP (BP.) 466.20p -1.56%
Pearson (PSON) 1,090.00p -1.54%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 94.85p -1.45%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Premier Oil (PMO) 289.40p +7.94%
Victrex (VCT) 1,895.00p +7.43%
IP Group (IPO) 179.00p +2.58%
BBA Aviation (BBA) 319.70p +2.14%
BH Global Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHGG) 1,206.00p +1.86%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.71 +1.74%
Workspace Group (WKP) 548.50p +1.57%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,192.00p +1.36%
Perform Group (PER) 242.50p +1.21%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,306.00p +1.14%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 218.10p -5.46%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 252.20p -4.94%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 162.80p -4.40%
Interserve (IRV) 577.50p -4.39%
Evraz (EVR) 79.30p -4.17%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 502.50p -4.01%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 209.30p -3.15%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 149.90p -3.04%
Homeserve (HSV) 308.90p -2.74%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 44.97p -2.54%