- Fed Beige Book and US ISM services figures ahead
- Traders brace for Friday's US jobs report
- Sage races ahead
techMARK 2,652.09 +0.44%
FTSE 100 6,528.83 -0.06%
FTSE 250 15,158.24 +0.03%
The Footsie spent the first half of the session flittering in and out of the blue, as traders continued to brace for next Friday´s monthly employment report Stateside.
Investors were wary that a stronger-than-expected increase in non-farm payrolls could prompt the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus as soon as its next meeting on December 17-18th or in January.
That overshadowed somewhat worrisome survey data on the Eurozone´s service sector, which according to survey compiler Markit points to France heading back into recession in quarter four and Italy about to register a "staggering" [Markit dixit] tenth consecutive quarter of economic contraction.
Last night the latest Chinese service sector figures revealed slowing growth momentum, HSBC announced.
A modestly lower-than-expected UK service sector purchasing managers´ survey was released today.
The Markit/CIPS UK purchasing managers´index (PMI) came in at 60 for November, compared to 62.5 a month earlier and the consensus estimate for a reading of 62.
Investors were also keeping an eye out for the result of OPEC´s latest summit.
Sage Group gave the top tier index a boost with a near 9 % rise in its share price on the back of a divi raise and predicted revenue growth of six per cent for 2015.
However, gains were limited by a raft of stocks going ex-dividend, including the Aberdeen Asset Management, London Stock Exchange, National Grid, Severn Trent and Tate&Lyle.
In other macro news, the government is set to later today unveil its two-year infrastructure spending plan, which is expected to include £375bn-worth of investment in energy, transport, communications, and water projects. The insurance sector is also widely predicted to be planning an investment of £25bn.
The government is also due to significantly alter its policy of renewable energy subsidising, according to the BBC, with plans to scale back its contributions to both onshore wind and solar energy, while increasing its support to offshore wind power. Overall spending is not expected to differ.
Sage Group races to the top of the leaderboard
Although Sage Group's annual pre-tax profit was broadly flat at £164.1m, this was a reflection of the cost of non-core disposals, with revenue for the period rising 4% to £1.26bn, driven by growth in premium support contract upselling and renewals, software subscriptions and payment services. The firm proposed a final ordinary dividend of 7.44p per share, bringing the total ordinary dividend to 11.32p per share, up 6% on the prior year.
were also higher despite the company posting a disappointing result for the third quarter. The supermarket chain said like-for-like sales in the period had fallen 1.5% due to a grocery market that had become more difficult since the summer due to pressure on consumer finances. The company's total UK sales lifted 0.9%. Group sales for the 13 weeks ended November 23rd increased 0.6% at actual exchange rates
and 0.2% at constant rates, excluding petrol. Including petrol, group sales decreased 0.8% at actual exchange rates and 1.2% at constant rates.
Randgold Resources ignored a declining gold price
to rise strongly after Investec upgraded the stock to 'buy' with a 5,095p target price.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered fell heavily after saying a "challenging year" has resulted in a "significant impact" on its performance in the second half and as such income for the full year is expected to be broadly flat on 2012. Nevertheless, Investec highlighted that it is the cheapest British bank on a fundamental basis, something which it sees as an "anomaly."
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sage Group (SGE) 378.50p +8.95%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 288.60p +2.96%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,424.00p +2.74%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 871.50p +2.05%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,253.50p +1.67%
Meggitt (MGGT) 483.60p +1.40%
Hammerson (HMSO) 507.00p +1.40%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,824.50p +1.28%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 763.00p +1.19%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 369.30p +1.18%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,349.50p -5.70%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 461.70p -4.55%
Fresnillo (FRES) 728.00p -2.15%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 772.50p -1.78%
National Grid (NG.) 753.00p -1.44%
Barclays (BARC) 262.75p -1.30%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,802.00p -1.29%
Pearson (PSON) 1,315.00p -1.28%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 660.20p -1.23%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 101.70p -1.17%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Drax Group (DRX) 726.50p +6.21%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 363.40p +3.21%
RPC Group (RPC) 520.00p +2.77%
Interserve (IRV) 652.50p +2.76%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 413.00p +2.61%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 172.70p +2.61%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 301.00p +2.03%
Halfords Group (HFD) 478.70p +1.94%
Amlin (AML) 437.90p +1.86%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 171.20p +1.84%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Alent (ALNT) 325.00p -4.64%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 372.20p -3.32%
Synthomer (SYNT) 222.80p -2.83%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 208.10p -2.53%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 127.60p -2.45%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 223.60p -2.32%
Britvic (BVIC) 658.00p -2.23%
Homeserve (HSV) 259.00p -2.15%
Debenhams (DEB) 90.30p -2.06%
Electrocomponents (ECM) 275.10p -1.96%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Torotrak (TRK) 23.00p +15.00%
NCC Group (NCC) 176.25p +2.32%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 18.50p +2.07%
Optos (OPTS) 178.75p +1.56%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 891.50p +1.48%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 155.00p +1.14%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 24.25p +1.04%
Innovation Group (TIG) 34.75p +0.72%
Ricardo (RCDO) 592.00p +0.68%
SDL (SDL) 273.50p +0.64%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Sarossa Capital (SRC) 1.35p -11.48%
Anite (AIE) 88.25p -1.40%
Vectura Group (VEC) 114.50p -0.87%
RM (RM.) 110.75p -0.67%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.22 -0.24%