Today's morning session has started the week off in much the same way as the weather has: gloomily.
Investor sentiment has been knocked by renewed concerns over the single currency region following France and Germany's failure to agree a schedule for initiating shared oversight of the region's banking sector.
Miners were leading the fallers by lunchtime, following a call from analysts at JP Morgan to take profits in the sector because stalling economic growth in the US and more significantly in China, are expected to offset the US Fed´s third round of asset purchases. Furthermore, JP Morgan analysts have specifically recommended avoiding shares
of Khazakmys and Anglo American.
It was announced this morning that Business Secretary Vince Cable is soon to unveil the creation of a one billion pound business bank to help increase lending to companies. He will tell the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton that the bank would "get behind" good businesses and be up and running in 18 months. The government will put up £1.0bn and hopes this will be matched by private sector investment.
Meanwhile, a survey has revealed that Britons are now even more concerned about inflation, according to Markit, a survey conductor, with repondents saying they expect living costs to rise sharply. Around 66% of those surveyed said their day-to-day living costs have risen since August, matching what was seen in the monthly index which measures inflation perceptions, which showed the strongest month-on-month increase since November 2010. 40% of respondents said they expected their financial situation to get worse over the next year.
Mining giant Bumi was also weighing on the sector after it said it was investigating allegations of financial and other irregularities at its Indonesian operations. The investigation centres on PT Bumi Resources, in which the company has a 29% interest, with particular focus on that firm's development funds.
"The extensive development funds in PT Bumi Resources Tbk and the one development asset in PT Berau Coal Energy Tbk were marked down to zero in the accounts of Bumi plc as at December 31st 2011, except for one investment with a carrying value of $39m in the consolidated financial statements," the statement said.
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management saw its assets under management (AuM) edge up in the first two months of the second half of the year. AuM at the end of August stood at £184.3bn, up from £182.7bn at the end of June. Gross new business during July and August totalled £6.1bn, but overall the group saw a net outflow of £0.1bn.
Shares in JJB Sports were suspended this morning as the firm headed towards administration.
The retailer had been searching for a buyer after it failed to raise the funds it needed to attempt a turnaround of the business.
Dairy Crest warned of lower first half profits, as challenging conditions continue, but said profit expectations for the full year ending March 31st 2013 remain unchanged.
Profit before tax and exceptional items slipped to £14.9m in the six months ended July 28th, from £16.2m in the corresponding period of last year at Irn-Bru maker AG Barr. The company took a £1m hit from adverse currency movements, although around £0.6m of this is expected to unwind in the second half of the year. On a constant currency basis, first half profit before tax was £0.3m behind the similar period in the prior year. Sales in the first seven weeks of the second half have shown double digit percentage growth.
Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have downgraded their view on shares of Anglo American to "neutral" from "buy".
The price of oil has turned south, with the most actively trade futures contract for Brent crude off $1.24 at $91.65 a barrel.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year gilt is 1.73%, down from 1.84% earlier this morning.
FTSE 100 - Risers
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,445.00p +0.56%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,821.00p +0.39%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 688.50p +0.36%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 346.00p +0.32%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 2,951.50p +0.32%
Rexam (REX) 437.40p +0.23%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,734.00p +0.12%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,293.00p +0.08%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,641.00p +0.06%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 326.40p -5.25%
Evraz (EVR) 259.40p -4.60%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,864.50p -3.79%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,766.00p -3.66%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,049.00p -3.41%
GKN (GKN) 219.10p -3.05%
Sage Group (SGE) 315.30p -2.92%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 708.00p -2.88%
Glencore International (GLEN) 352.00p -2.76%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,244.00p -2.51%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 116.60p +6.29%
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 180.90p +5.30%
Computacenter (CCC) 379.90p +3.46%
Pace (PIC) 168.70p +2.09%
SIG (SHI) 104.70p +2.05%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 289.30p +1.94%
Shanks Group (SKS) 90.20p +1.81%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 116.50p +1.75%
PayPoint (PAY) 738.00p +1.72%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 271.90p +1.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bumi (BUMI) 137.40p -29.86%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 154.00p -6.44%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 205.10p -4.83%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 420.30p -4.39%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 91.95p -3.92%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 513.50p -3.39%
Lonmin (LMI) 577.50p -2.78%
Grainger (GRI) 108.40p -2.69%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 19.14p -2.65%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 187.40p -2.65%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.50p +3.73%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 17.00p +3.03%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 211.00p +2.30%
Filtronic (FTC) 44.00p +1.73%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,020.00p +0.79%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 731.50p +0.21%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Antisoma (ASM) 1.53p -5.26%
Ricardo (RCDO) 380.00p -2.81%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 70.00p -2.78%
Vectura Group (VEC) 82.00p -2.38%
Vislink (VLK) 31.00p -1.59%
Xaar (XAR) 245.00p -1.21%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 135.00p -0.55%
Microgen (MCGN) 133.00p -0.19%
Optos (OPTS) 178.75p -0.14%
NCC Group (NCC) 920.00p -0.05%