- FTSE down 16.44 points to 6,804.12
- Intertek hit by Numis comments
- Elections in focus ahead of Bank Holiday weekend
techMARK 2,747.39 +0.12%
FTSE 100 6,799.91 -0.30%
FTSE 250 15,677.95 +0.02%
The FTSE was still down by midday, dragged lower by Intertek ahead of the long weekend which will see the presidential elections take place in Ukraine.
The top tier index was 16.44 points lower at 6,804.12 by lunchtime.
Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG, said: "Elections dominate the headlines, as the market sits between yesterday's European elections and the weekend's presidential ballot in Ukraine. Neither is particularly market-moving, but with a long weekend looming in the UK traders seem content to use the votes as a reason to close out positions as the week comes to an end.
"Morning trading has seen the FTSE lag behind other markets and looking to finish the week towards the lower end of its trading range, unlike the DAX and S&P 500."
While fairly quiet on the macro front in the UK, things were a little busier across the Channel, with Fitch Ratings upgrading the credit rating for Greece thanks to the government's work on improving fiscal measures.
The rating was lifted to 'B' from 'B-' with a stable outlook.
Standard & Poor's similarly upgraded Spain's credit rating on the back of the government reforms that have improved the country's economic outlook.
The agency raised the long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign ratings on Spain to 'BBB/A-2' from 'BBB-/A-3" and noted that the outlook was stable.
Intertek hit by Numis rating cut
It was a fairly busy morning for company news, with Numis sending Intertek into the bottom spot after cutting its rating to 'hold' from 'buy', and lowering its target price from 3,782p to 3,100p.
Burberry retreated after seeing decent gains earlier in the week on the back a strong set of results.
Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange raced ahead after Goldman Sachs upgraded it from 'sell' to 'neutral'.
Standard Life rose on the news it has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer. Luke Savage, who will take up the position from August 18th, is described as a "leading industry executive with extensive experience of insurance and investment services".
Platinum producers Anglo American and Lonmin both jumped after they announced that facilitated mediation between Amplats, Impala and Lonmin and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) is continuing under the supervision of the Labour Court.
A joint venture of bus and train operator Go-Ahead and a company part-owned by French state railway SNCF has won the battle to run the new Thameslink rail super-franchise in London and south-east England, sending shares
in the FTSE 250-listed group soaring. Govia, which currently runs the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland franchises, has secured the deal to run the enlarged Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise.
However, First Group slumped after missing out.
BTG soared on the news it has been granted clearance for its EkoSonic Endovascular System treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The minimally invasive treatment carries out the ultrasound-facilitated, controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids, including thrombolytics, for the treatment of PE.
Meanwhile, x-ray scanner and medical equipment maker Smiths Group fell after it unveiled weaker revenue as tough trading in its detection and medical businesses spoilt a good performance at its John Crane energy services operation. Smiths said underlying revenue in the nine months to May 3rd would be slightly lower than in the same period a year ago due to issues in detection, which makes security scanners for airports, and medical, which makes surgical devices.
Tullow Oil shares also dropped after it said the Shimela-1 well, onshore Ethiopia, has encountered water bearing reservoirs and that only traces of thermogenic gas shows were recorded after drilling to a final depth of 1,940 metres.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Mondi (MNDI) 1,080.00p +2.66%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,835.00p +1.44%
WPP (WPP) 1,282.00p +1.34%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 206.85p +1.32%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 75.62p +1.08%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 859.00p +0.94%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,251.00p +0.89%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,362.00p +0.81%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 775.00p +0.78%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,549.50p +0.75%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,845.00p -2.10%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,500.00p -1.90%
Diageo (DGE) 1,890.00p -1.79%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 842.00p -1.75%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,314.00p -1.72%
Next (NXT) 6,550.00p -1.65%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,378.00p -1.57%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 201.90p -1.46%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 839.50p -1.41%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 942.50p -1.41%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,117.00p +9.18%
BTG (BTG) 570.00p +4.20%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 312.00p +3.31%
Lonmin (LMI) 255.40p +2.98%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 223.00p +2.58%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 307.40p +2.47%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 139.50p +1.82%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,068.00p +1.71%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 434.90p +1.64%
Betfair Group (BET) 990.00p +1.49%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 404.60p -2.10%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 610.00p -1.69%
Polymetal International (POLY) 502.00p -1.67%
CSR (CSR) 557.00p -1.50%
Unite Group (UTG) 407.90p -1.47%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 736.50p -1.47%
De La Rue (DLAR) 797.00p -1.42%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 697.50p -1.41%
Computacenter (CCC) 610.50p -1.37%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 332.90p -1.30%