- Geopolitical tensions ease slightly
- Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq news-flow improves
- Balfour rejects Carillion approach again
techMARK 2,718.86 +0.91%
FTSE 100 6,613.50 +0.70%
FTSE 250 15,425.38 +1.19%
UK stocks were performing well on Monday morning as investors took advantage of easing geopolitical fears to snap up bargains with markets at a four-month low.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.7% at 6,614 by midday. The index declined to 6,567.36 by Friday's close, its lowest finish since 15 April, following three straight days of losses.
A 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, the end of Russian military exercises near eastern Ukraine and the news that US air strikes have helped Kurdish forces in northern Iraq have combined to repair sentiment over the weekend.
While the macro data calendar for Monday looks pretty thin, investors will be looking ahead to gross domestic product figures from Japan, Chinese and US retail sales, UK unemployment and the Bank of England's Inflation Report over the coming days.
Over the weekend it was announced that Chinese consumer price inflation remained at 2.3% in July, well below the 3.5% government target, sparking strong gains on Asian markets overnight. "The bulls may argue that this creates some headroom for policy to remain loose," according to Deutsche Bank.
Balfour Beatty on the rise after rejecting Carillion
Construction group Balfour Beatty advanced after rebuffing another takeover proposal from rival Carillion over a row about Balfour's plan to sell its US Parsons Brinckerhoff subsidiary.
Meanwhile, Balfour, which has struggled after profit warnings triggered the departure of its chief executive, unveiled results for the six months to 27 June which it said matched guidance in its most recent trading update.
The mining sector was performing well with heavyweights such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American making gains. Rio was supported this morning by comments from Canaccord Genuity, which repeated its 'buy' rating on the back of the miner's strong free cash flows in the first half.
Centrica declined after saying earnings this year will be affected by a reduction in output from EDF Energy's nuclear power stations, in which it owns a 20% stake. The outage will reduce earnings per share in 2014 "by around 0.3p per share", it said.
Sector peer Drax was extending losses made last week after losing its appeal over its eligibility for a government contract. UBS said on Monday that the news "has reduced the potential valuation upside for Drax" as it downgraded the stock from 'buy' to 'neutral'.
Deutsche Bank lowered its recommendation for Friends Life Group from 'buy' to 'hold', saying it sees worse-than-expected underlying trends at the life assurance firm. The stock was among the worst performers on the Footsie.
Interim results from chemicals firm Synthomer were taken positively by the market after the company hiked its dividend by 25% despite a fall in sales and profits in the first half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Ashtead Group (AHT) 900.50p +3.57%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 327.00p +3.12%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,264.00p +2.93%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,475.50p +2.83%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,591.50p +2.61%
Schroders (SDR) 2,267.00p +2.44%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,246.00p +2.38%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,009.00p +2.38%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,902.00p +2.31%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 414.60p +2.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 166.20p -2.00%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 340.20p -1.56%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,045.00p -1.27%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 316.80p -0.78%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,079.00p -0.46%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 236.90p -0.38%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,375.00p -0.36%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 707.50p -0.35%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,372.50p -0.34%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 427.20p -0.23%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Synthomer (SYNT) 224.30p +7.89%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 344.20p +4.33%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 118.90p +4.30%
Michael Page International (MPI) 451.80p +4.10%
Just Eat (JE.) 218.00p +3.86%
Perform Group (PER) 236.00p +3.78%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 271.10p +3.47%
Telecity Group (TCY) 751.50p +3.44%
BTG (BTG) 600.50p +3.36%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 133.00p +3.34%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Xaar (XAR) 527.50p -3.48%
Drax Group (DRX) 636.00p -2.30%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,023.00p -1.73%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 135.60p -0.95%
Serco Group (SRP) 325.70p -0.91%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 190.80p -0.88%
Betfair Group (BET) 1,061.00p -0.84%
BH Global Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHGG) 1,200.00p -0.74%
Cineworld Group (CINE) 320.80p -0.74%
Stock Spirits Group (STCK) 296.60p -0.74%