- FOMC keeps policy unchanged
- UK house prices rise
- Eurozone inflation falls
- Eurozone jobless rate remains at record high
techMARK 2,657.47 -0.28%
FTSE 100 6,746.82 -0.46%
FTSE 250 15,480.72 -0.66%
The FTSE 100 fell 31.86 points to 6,745.84 at the midday mark on Thursday as investors weighed the Federal Reserve's policy decision.
The Federal Open Market Committee said it would keep its monthly $85bn bond buying programme unchanged, pointing to weaker economic growth that was hampered by the 16-day partial government shutdown earlier this month.
Many economists expect a reduction to quantitative easing will be held off until March 2014 but some interpreted the Fed's statement as a suggestion that this could come in December.
The losses on the FTSE 100 were led by Croda International, which plunged after warning on subdued underlying market conditions, the "significant devaluation of the Japanese yen and Indian rupee", and near-double-digit declines in "relatively low" margin but high volume commodity and toll manufacturing sales. Overall, turnover for the first half rose 4.4%, although underlying sales climbed just 0.8%.
In the Eurozone, inflation dropped unexpectedly and unemployment held at a record high.
The consumer price index dropped to 0.7% in October from 1.1% in September, according to a flash estimate from the European Union's statistics office. It missed analysts' estimates for inflation to remain unchanged.
The unemployment rate came in at 12.2% last month, in line with August, falling short of the forecast for the rate to fall to 12%.
"The latest euro-zone inflation and unemployment figures will increase pressure on the ECB to take further action to support the economy," said Capital Economics.
Meanwhile, market research institute GfK's consumer confidence index for Germany fell unexpectedly to 7.0 in November from 7.1 in October. Economists had predicted a reading of 7.2.
UK house prices climbed 5.8% year-on-year, compared to a 5% increase in September, marking the biggest annual rise since July 2010, according to data from Nationwide. Economists had predicted a 5.1% jump.
In the US, initial jobless claims for the week ending October 25th will be unveiled along with the Chicago Purchasing Managers' regional manufacturing index which is pegged to fall to 55 in October from 55.7 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Shell plunges after earnings take bigger-than-expected hit
Earnings declined more than expected at Royal Dutch Shell due to weaker refinery conditions, higher costs and lower volumes, pushing the stock firmly lower. Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said headwinds that continued to "erode the near term outlook" included weak industry refining margins and security issues in Nigeria but pointed to a strong flow of new projects and said Shell would increase the pace of asset sales.
Also in the red was AstraZeneca after it reported a fall in third quarter revenue. During the third quarter, core operating profit dropped 29% to $2.02bn as core earnings per share dipped 26% to $1.21.
Heading higher was BG Group, which predicted that production would recover in the fourth quarter, helped by the completion of its North Sea maintenance shutdowns and new projects coming on stream, particularly the Jasmine field in the North Sea.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BT Group (BT.A) 379.50p +2.71%
BG Group (BG.) 1,268.50p +1.85%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 356.40p +1.63%
Aviva (AV.) 449.30p +1.03%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,349.00p +1.00%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,242.00p +0.90%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 217.10p +0.79%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,824.00p +0.73%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,537.00p +0.72%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,189.00p +0.68%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Croda International (CRDA) 2,480.00p -5.88%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,166.50p -4.85%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,079.50p -4.78%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 867.00p -3.40%
Fresnillo (FRES) 993.00p -2.55%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,685.00p -2.40%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,444.00p -2.30%
British Land Co (BLND) 618.00p -1.75%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,508.00p -1.69%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 3,276.00p -1.62%
FTSE 250 - Risers
SIG (SHI) 202.10p +2.23%
Afren (AFR) 150.50p +1.76%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 103.80p +1.47%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 124.20p +1.47%
Spectris (SXS) 2,328.00p +1.44%
Countrywide (CWD) 570.00p +1.24%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,223.00p +1.07%
Alent (ALNT) 350.20p +0.78%
Michael Page International (MPI) 484.90p +0.75%
ICAP (IAP) 383.50p +0.74%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 104.50p -6.86%
Telecity Group (TCY) 752.50p -4.81%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,343.00p -4.29%
RPS Group (RPS) 286.80p -4.14%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 122.60p -3.46%
Drax Group (DRX) 639.00p -3.26%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 579.00p -2.93%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 191.50p -2.89%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 165.50p -2.53%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,157.00p -2.28%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Optos (OPTS) 159.50p +2.41%
Anite (AIE) 90.75p +0.83%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 889.00p +0.57%
Skyepharma (SKP) 97.50p +0.52%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.97 +0.36%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 142.50p +0.35%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Antisoma (ASM) 1.40p -9.68%
Puricore (PURI) 47.00p -2.08%
RM (RM.) 114.25p -1.93%
Ricardo (RCDO) 607.00p -1.86%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.50p -1.79%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 18.00p -1.37%
Vectura Group (VEC) 109.50p -1.35%
SDL (SDL) 252.00p -1.27%
Innovation Group (TIG) 31.75p -0.78%
Vislink (VLK) 48.75p -0.76%