- UK GDP revised lower, but consumer confidence rises
- Eurozone, Japan and China data disappoints
- Fed's Bullard sparks rate-hike fears
- Imagination drops on Intel stake sale
techMARK 2,806.43 +0.15%
FTSE 100 6,743.67 +0.13%
FTSE 250 15,633.14 -0.09%
London equities were making small gains on Friday but had come off their highs after a host of mixed global economic data, while US stock futures turned lower.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.1% higher at 6,744 by midday, compared with an intraday high of 6,759.76 reached early on.
UK gross domestic product (GDP) figures were this morning revised to show an economic expansion of 3% in the first quarter, compared with the initial estimate of 3.1%, after small changes to historic data. The consensus estimate was for an unchanged reading, while some analysts had expected there to be an upwards revision to 3.2%.
Nevertheless, other figures by GfK showed today that UK consumer confidence in June rose to a nine-year high, raising hopes for solid GDP growth in the second quarter.
In contrast, Eurozone economic sentiment registered a surprise drop this month as heightened geopolitical tensions weighed on both executive and consumer confidence.
Meanwhile, Asian markets registered a weak performance overnight as investors reacted to an 8.8% slump in Japanese household spending and a slowdown in Chinese industrial profit growth.
Fed in focus
US stocks finished broadly lower last night after comments from Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard, who said he expects the central bank to begin raising rates in the first quarter of 2015. He said that the Fed is "closer to its goal than many people appreciate", adding that "we're really pretty close to normal".
Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpar UK said that the negative finish on Wall Street was "hardly a surprise when you consider that one of the main factors behind the rally in the US is the low interest rate environment that we currently find ourselves in".
Stock futures in the States were pointing to even more losses ahead of the opening bell in New York.
Erlam explained that while Bullard is not be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, he is usually considered dovish "which may suggest that other members are also leaning towards an earlier rate hike than is currently priced in".
Imagination slumps on Intel sale
Chip designer Imagination Technologies fell sharply after microprocessor giant Intel sold a 9.3% stake in the business, leaving it with a remaining 5%. Intel raised over £51m from the sale of 25m shares
at just 205p per share, compared with Imagination's closing price of 224.8p yesterday.
Publishing and education group Pearson declined after releasing a statement that said adjusted profits in the first half would be lower than the previously year. However, the company reiterated that its profits would be "heavily weighed to the second half", helping shares to bounce off their lows slightly.
Housebuilders Redrow, Persimmon and Barratt Developments extended gains made yesterday as the market breathed a sigh of relief to softer-than-expected measures by the Bank of England to cool the housing market. Analysts at UBS said that while a "policy over-reaction" is undoubtedly the biggest risk to the sector, this risk has already been largely priced in and that future intervention will be "gradual and measured".
Publishing peer Reed Elsevier fell after Barclays Capital lowered its recommendation on the stock to 'equal weight' and trimmed its target price from 1,020p to 1,005p.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce was rising on rumours that Airbus it close to upgrading its A330 fleet with the Rolls as its sole engine supplier.
National Express gained after the Department for Transport announced that the transport firm has retained the Essex Thameside franchise for a further 15 years.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 376.30p +3.69%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,282.00p +1.83%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,166.00p +1.39%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,594.00p +1.26%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,534.00p +1.25%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,059.00p +1.24%
BAE Systems (BA.) 429.90p +1.15%
TUI Travel (TT.) 394.10p +1.05%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 430.40p +1.01%
Aviva (AV.) 504.50p +0.94%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Mondi (MNDI) 1,062.00p -1.85%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 928.50p -1.49%
BG Group (BG.) 1,258.00p -1.29%
Meggitt (MGGT) 504.00p -1.18%
CRH (CRH) 1,516.00p -0.98%
Pearson (PSON) 1,133.00p -0.96%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,011.00p -0.89%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,214.00p -0.74%
GKN (GKN) 367.00p -0.65%
Capita (CPI) 1,131.00p -0.62%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Redrow (RDW) 281.30p +5.12%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 292.70p +3.43%
National Express Group (NEX) 255.20p +2.90%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 112.80p +2.64%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,419.00p +2.50%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 362.20p +2.46%
Bellway (BWY) 1,587.00p +2.32%
ITE Group (ITE) 227.90p +2.06%
Keller Group (KLR) 923.00p +1.99%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 914.00p +1.90%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 210.00p -6.58%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 220.00p -4.84%
Perform Group (PER) 228.00p -2.98%
Countrywide (CWD) 512.50p -2.75%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 298.00p -2.26%
Bodycote (BOY) 680.50p -2.23%
Debenhams (DEB) 66.80p -2.20%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 94.10p -1.98%
Elementis (ELM) 259.90p -1.96%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 127.50p -1.92%