- Markets nervous ahead of US GDP
- More banks linked to LIBOR manipulation
- German confidence beats forecasts
Caution ahead of today's US gross domestic product (GDP) report and news that more banks have been tied to the LIBOR manipulation scandal weighed on European markets on Friday, with the FTSE 100 firmly in the red by midday.
"This week will likely be remembered for investor's complacency in the face of risk and preferring to stay on the side lines as uncertainty plagued the markets," said financial trader Shavaz Dhalla from Spreadex.
Markets have been digesting a barrage of mixed economic data over the past few days, such as: poor trade balance figures from Japan; contrasting manufacturing data from the Eurozone and China; minutes of the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting; and a better-than-expected reading of UK GDP yesterday (to mention a few).
As for the US GDP report, it is scheduled for realise at 13:30 (London time) and is expected to see the US economy expand at an annualised rate of 1.9% in the third quarter, an acceleration from the 1.3% growth in the preceding three months.
However, investors are nervous after the flurry of corporate earnings reports from the US over last few days have failed to give markets a boost with some heavy hitters - including Amazon and Apple last night - disappointing.
In other news, Greece is thought to be close to agreeing a deal with the Troika which should then be voted on by parliament. Market analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari explained: "The deal appears to centred around the idea that Greece will have an extra two years to hit its fiscal targets, something Germany has refused to confirm at this point. There is still no guarantee it will be signed off by Greece's creditors, however they are likely to respect the Troika's report."
German consumer confidence moved higher to a November reading of 6.3 points from 6.1 points in October, according to the GfK Institute. The market was expecting a reading of 5.9. The previous month's reading was revised from 5.9 to 6.1.
FTSE 100: Banks take a hit on LIBOR probe
Banking stocks were under pressure this morning after The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the probe into the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) has spread to nine more banks.
These nine, which include Lloyds, Credit Suisse and Bank of America, have received subpoenas in connection with a probe, the paper said citing a person close to the matter. In London, Lloyds, RBS and Barclays were among the worst performers.
Engineering giant Weir was a high riser after Morgan Stanley raised its target price for the stock from 1,440p to 1,670p. The broker still maintained its 'underweight' rating though.
ARM Holdings was out of favour after Apple's results failed to meet expectations last night. The chip designer's products are found in some of Apple's gadgets, such as iPhones and iPads.
Pharmaceuticals giant Shire was a heavy faller despite Deutsche Bank, UBS and Credit Suisse reiterating their 'buy' and 'overweight' ratings on the stock this morning. Shares were pulling back after a solid rise yesterday on the back its third-quarter results.
Among the risers was diversified mining titan Anglo American after announcing that it is on the look out for another CEO after Cynthis Carroll revealed her decision to resign. "It is a very difficult decision to leave, but next year I will be entering my seventh year as Chief Executive and I feel that the time will be right to hand over to a successor who can build further on the strong foundations we have created," she said.
FTSE 250: Elementis sinks on oilfield drilling slowdown
Speciality chemicals group Elementis was a heavy faller after saying that full-year headline operating profits will be hit by a temporary slowdown in oilfield drilling. Nevertheless, the group said it remains on track to hit earnings per share (EPS) forecasts this year due to a lower tax rate.
African Barrick Gold also dropped after scaling back its production guidance for the full year following a "challenging" third quarter which saw output and sales shrink dramatically year-on-year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,739.00p +3.02%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,896.00p +2.07%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,113.00p +0.82%
Pearson (PSON) 1,221.00p +0.74%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,380.00p +0.36%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 271.00p +0.30%
BAE Systems (BA.) 310.30p +0.06%
IMI (IMI) 918.00p -0.05%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 353.10p -0.11%
WPP (WPP) 788.50p -0.13%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 710.00p -3.53%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,877.00p -2.75%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,722.00p -2.66%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 826.00p -2.65%
Melrose (MRO) 231.40p -2.65%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 647.50p -2.63%
CRH (CRH) 1,089.00p -2.24%
Prudential (PRU) 834.50p -2.17%
Schroders (SDR) 1,510.00p -2.14%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,530.00p -2.11%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 199.50p +2.31%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 769.00p +2.26%
NMC Health (NMC) 187.70p +2.01%
Diploma (DPLM) 480.70p +1.31%
Man Group (EMG) 81.10p +1.31%
Drax Group (DRX) 555.00p +1.28%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,353.00p +1.20%
Utilico Emerging Markets Ltd (DI) (UEM) 163.90p +1.17%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 66.65p +1.14%
Raven Russia Ltd (RUS) 67.40p +1.05%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Elementis (ELM) 203.00p -6.45%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 264.50p -5.37%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 96.00p -4.95%
Lonmin (LMI) 476.50p -4.34%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 460.60p -4.34%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 96.45p -3.26%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 260.90p -2.90%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 184.10p -2.70%
Hunting (HTG) 755.00p -2.58%
PayPoint (PAY) 765.00p -2.55%