- Stocks sink as EM-inspired sell-off continues
- BG Group disappoints with 2014 guidance
- AT&T quashes Vodafone bid rumours
- ARM Chairman steps down, ITV downgraded
techMARK 2,758.25 -1.13%
FTSE 100 6,569.62 -1.41%
FTSE 250 15,523.71 -1.14%
UK stocks dropped to their lowest levels in nearly six weeks on Monday amid ongoing concerns about the outlook for emerging markets such as Argentina, South Africa and Turkey.
Losses in Asia overnight may also have been fuelled in part by worries over an imminent default by a high-yield Chinese investment trust product.
BG Group was leading the top-tier index lower this morning after disappointing investors with a gloomy outlook for 2014; losses from heavyweights Vodafone, ARM Holdings and ITV were also providing a drag.
"Many predicted the markets would come under pressure in January after a rampant end to 2013, but the FTSE seemed to be plain sailing towards all-time highs early last week, only to nosedive comfortably into the red for 2014 since," said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
The FTSE 100 was down 1.4% at 6,570 by midday; it has not closed below this level since December 18th.
London's benchmark index has now fallen by 3.8% over the past three sessions alone as ongoing volatility in emerging-market currency markets, concerns about economic growth in China and nervousness ahead of this week's Federal Reserve policy meeting caused investors to scale back risk appetite significantly.
In contrast, so-called 'safe-haven' assets such as gold and US Treasuries have in turn benefited, while stocks in defensive sectors such as real estate, tobacco and utilities have held up relatively well.
BG Group plummets on "very disappointing" guidance
Natural gas producer BG Group has said that 2013 results will be in line with expectations, but production and profits this year will likely be lower due to "short-term issues" in Egypt and the US. The stock sank as much as 15% this morning after Chief Executive Chris Finlayson labelled the group's guidance as "very disappointing".
Oil and gas groups Afren and Cairn Energy were dragged lower after the update, along with oilfield services firms AMEC and Petrofac.
US telecoms giant AT&T quashed talk about a takeover of Vodafone by ruling out a bid for the British mobile phone company, sending shares
in the latter into negative territory. Over the past few months, there had been speculation that AT&T would stage a bid for Vodafone to expand its presence in the European market.
ARM Holdings was in the red after saying that it has appointed Stuart Chambers as Chairman to replace John Buchanan who is stepping down due to a medical condition.
Citigroup pressured terrestrial broadcaster ITV lower after cutting its rating from 'neutral' to 'sell', naming it as one of its least preferred stocks in the European media sector.
RSA Insurance Group dropped after The Sunday Times reported it is considering scrapping its final dividend to raise £500m to fill a balance-sheet loss.
Defensive stocks, often seen as relatively stable investments in times of market volatility, were benefitting this morning from a reduction in risk appetite. Property group Land Securities, tobacco giant Imperial and utility firms Severn Trent and United Utilities were among the best performers.
FTSE 100 - Risers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 712.00p +1.64%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,705.00p +1.61%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,282.00p +0.88%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,059.00p +0.86%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,805.50p +0.78%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,165.00p +0.70%
BAE Systems (BA.) 433.00p +0.70%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,906.00p +0.59%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,345.50p +0.41%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,313.00p +0.27%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BG Group (BG.) 1,069.00p -14.82%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 219.00p -5.83%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,446.00p -4.17%
Aviva (AV.) 440.70p -3.48%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,578.00p -2.89%
ITV (ITV) 188.80p -2.73%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 99.00p -2.65%
Pearson (PSON) 1,141.00p -2.56%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,653.00p -2.54%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,434.00p -2.45%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Elementis (ELM) 261.80p +4.43%
Homeserve (HSV) 295.30p +3.43%
NMC Health (NMC) 471.40p +2.70%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 95.60p +2.25%
Perform Group (PER) 241.10p +1.73%
Polymetal International (POLY) 604.00p +1.34%
Lonmin (LMI) 316.60p +1.12%
Amlin (AML) 418.30p +1.09%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,686.00p +1.08%
Intu Properties (INTU) 314.20p +1.00%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Supergroup (SGP) 1,401.00p -8.13%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 482.20p -4.33%
Evraz (EVR) 93.15p -3.77%
Carillion (CLLN) 330.60p -3.64%
Rank Group (RNK) 133.40p -3.54%
Regus (RGU) 206.00p -3.29%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,123.00p -3.27%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 100.10p -3.19%
Michael Page International (MPI) 430.20p -3.17%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,461.00p -3.03%