- Risk appetite fades as markets await jobs data
- Mining, financial sectors sold off
- UK construction PMI defies expectations, jumps to six-year high
techMARK 2,645.44 -0.31%
FTSE 100 6,539.87 -0.84%
FTSE 250 15,211.51 -0.80%
UK markets were firmly in negative territory on Tuesday morning despite some strong data on the domestic construction sector, as heavy falls in the mining and financial sectors weighed on FTSE 100.
While things look pretty busy on the macro agenda over the coming days - with plenty of economic data on tap and policy meetings in both the UK and Europe - the focus is likely to be on the all-important US jobs report due Friday, which could be a deciding factor in the Federal Reserve's impending taper of stimulus.
Yesterday global manufacturing figures for November beat forecasts across the board [Capital Economics points out that manufacturing in BRIC economies is lagging behind] but a surprising pick-up in US manufacturing activity to a two-and-a-half-year high was met with a mixed reaction from financial markets.
"The better than forecast US ISM manufacturing report released Monday prompted concern that upbeat performance of the US economy, as indicated by recent data, could see the Fed initiate tapering at this month's policy meeting," said Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
Today's schedule was relatively light, though the UK construction sector was making headlines this morning after the purchasing managers' index (PMI) for November smashed forecasts . The PMI unexpectedly surged to a six-year high of 62.6 last month, up from 59.4 in October and well ahead of the forecast for a slight fall to 59.
Nevertheless, stocks were relatively unfazed, with risk appetite on the low-side across Europe.
"You can certainly understand a bit of profit-taking in the current environment, especially in the context of 2013 gains, but the question will be if this is simply the bulls recharging for a traditional 'Santa Rally' or if they have decided to cash in and enjoy the festive season on a healthy bank balance," said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
Overnight the latest "official" Chinese services sector purchasing managers´ data revealed a dip in activity levels for November.
Miners tumble as UBS cuts targets
Extended falls in metals prices were weighing on the FTSE 100 with mining stocks broadly lower. UBS was also providing some downwards pressure as it slashed target price across the sector after making reductions in gold and silver forecasts for 2014 and 2015.
The bank cut its targets for Antofagasta, Aquarius Platinum, Fresnillo, Hochschild Mining, Kazakhmys, Lonmin and Rio Tinto, all of which were trading with heavy losses.
Rio Tinto was also in the red after saying that it will cut capital spending to $11bn in 2014 and to around $8bn in 2015, from the forecast $14bn to be spent this year. "Our results so far show we are taking decisive action, making tough decisions and advancing at pace," Chief Executive Sam Walsh is expected to say at an investor seminar today.
Savings and investment group Old Mutual was trading lower as JPMorgan Cazenove trimmed its target price after adjusting for currency movements. The bank however maintained its 'overweight' rating on the stock, highlighting attractive and improving returns from the emerging market life business.
Banking stocks were also out of favour with HSBC hit by a downgrade from Nomura to 'neutral'. Analyst Chintan Joshi said that regulation is the "main headwind to the dividend story" at the bank.
RBS was named Nomura's "least preferred UK bank", which dragged on the share price this morning. "We forecast downside from current levels", Joshi said. Barclays and StanChart were also unwanted.
Heading the other way was Smith & Nephew asMorgan Stanley lifted its recommendation to 'overweight'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Next (NXT) 5,540.00p +2.59%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 829.50p +2.03%
William Hill (WMH) 387.80p +1.78%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 749.50p +0.81%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 78.86p +0.36%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 652.50p +0.31%
SSE (SSE) 1,321.00p +0.08%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,213.00p +0.08%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 226.05p +0.02%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 738.50p -5.38%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,999.00p -3.80%
Old Mutual (OML) 189.40p -3.47%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,196.00p -3.00%
Fresnillo (FRES) 739.50p -2.70%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 284.00p -2.30%
CRH (CRH) 1,504.00p -2.27%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,087.00p -2.25%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,491.00p -2.23%
Rexam (REX) 488.40p -2.12%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Betfair Group (BET) 1,065.00p +3.40%
ITE Group (ITE) 304.50p +3.33%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,095.00p +3.30%
IP Group (IPO) 185.00p +2.72%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 274.70p +1.37%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 350.50p +1.04%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.95 +1.01%
Diploma (DPLM) 703.00p +0.86%
RPC Group (RPC) 509.00p +0.79%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 692.50p +0.73%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 210.30p -6.12%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 154.00p -5.11%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 130.60p -4.88%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 76.05p -4.16%
Investec (INVP) 407.80p -3.87%
Evraz (EVR) 101.10p -3.62%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,154.00p -3.54%
Polymetal International (POLY) 492.50p -3.43%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 168.10p -3.28%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 756.50p -3.20%