- US inflation in focus ahead of Fed meeting
- German sentiment rises; UK inflation eases
- S&P downgrades RSA, Fitch lowers outlook
- Cable & Wireless Comms gains on bid speculation
techMARK 2,690.49 +0.16%
FTSE 100 6,499.13 -0.35%
FTSE 250 15,419.43 +0.23%
Markets across Europe were trading in the red on Tuesday morning after a strong showing the day before as investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting.
"Yesterday's rally led many to believe that tapering had either been fully priced in or that investors did not believe the Fed would act at this month's meeting. The response seen in US futures and European indices during the morning session would suggest otherwise," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
This FTSE 100 jumped by 1.3% on Monday, as bargain hunters stepped in to buy on the dips after four straight days of losses which saw the index hit its lowest level since mid-October.
"Today we're seeing more risk aversion from investors, which isn't overly surprising given that the FOMC will announce tomorrow whether it will scale back its asset purchases or not. Investors appear split on this at the moment, with some pointing to the significant improvement in the data and others warning about the low levels of inflation," Erlam said.
As such, investors will be looking closely at November's US consumer price index (CPI) due out later on which is expected to show that inflation picked up to an annualised rate of 1.3% in November, up from 1% the previous month. The core figure, which excludes volatile things such as food and energy, is expected to be unchanged at 1.7%
Investors have had plenty of economic data to digest today on this side of the Pond, including a German sentiment survey which smashed forecasts by rising to its highest level since April 2006. Meanwhile, the rate of UK CPI inflation unexpectedly fell to 2.1% last month, edging close to the Bank of England's 2% target.
RSA gains despite downgrades; C&W up on bid rumours
RSA Insurance was making gains this morning but continues to trade well below levels seen last week after Friday's profit warning and resignation of its Chief Executive. Subsequently, S&P downgraded its credit rating on the stock on Monday to 'A-' with a 'Developing Outlook', having already downgraded last week, while Fitch cut its outlook to 'Rating Watch Negative'.
Telecoms group Cable & Wireless Communications was continuing to rise on speculation that it could be a takeover target of US giant AT&T. The stock rose by 4% yesterday.
Temporary power and temperature control group Aggreko was among the heaviest fallers, retreating after a stellar rise the day before as it said that full-year results would be slightly ahead of expectations.
Barclays fell after calling for the US courts to block energy regulators from collecting $488m of fines for electricity trading market manipulation.
Pharmaceuticals group GlaxoSmithKline declined early on after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to 'hold'.
Consumer electricals group Dixons declined despite beating forecasts with its first underlying profit in six years during if first half. However, the company did warn that the second half would be tougher.
AIM-listed iodine producer Iofina was a big mover this morning, plummeting by nearly a quarter after a profit warning. The company said that underlying earnings this year are likely to be similar to 2012 after expected 2013 shipments from its chemical division were delayed into 2014.
FTSE 100 - Risers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 91.30p +1.33%
Sage Group (SGE) 379.40p +1.17%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 458.20p +1.13%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,251.00p +1.01%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 709.00p +0.93%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 385.40p +0.89%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,154.00p +0.87%
TUI Travel (TT.) 393.30p +0.85%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 668.50p +0.83%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,217.00p +0.66%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,229.00p -2.54%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,126.00p -2.34%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,611.00p -2.07%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,445.00p -1.70%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 785.00p -1.51%
BP (BP.) 466.30p -1.46%
Fresnillo (FRES) 718.50p -1.37%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,281.00p -1.31%
CRH (CRH) 1,468.00p -1.28%
Amec (AMEC) 1,046.00p -1.23%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Perform Group (PER) 250.00p +5.93%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,377.00p +3.89%
Redrow (RDW) 297.20p +3.48%
Synthomer (SYNT) 239.20p +3.28%
IP Group (IPO) 169.00p +3.05%
CSR (CSR) 614.50p +2.76%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 50.25p +2.55%
Inchcape (INCH) 592.00p +2.51%
Savills (SVS) 646.00p +2.38%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 368.50p +2.36%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Alent (ALNT) 337.20p -3.05%
esure Group (ESUR) 239.90p -2.87%
UBM (UBM) 632.00p -2.77%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 49.99p -2.55%
Debenhams (DEB) 83.85p -2.33%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 901.50p -2.01%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 167.20p -1.88%
Informa (INF) 525.50p -1.78%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 19.66p -1.70%
Xaar (XAR) 1,096.00p -1.62%