- GSK break-up possibly on the cards
- RyanAir reports doubling of first quarter profits
- Aberdeen Asset Management sees slight drop in AuM
techMARK 2,792.12 -0.26%
FTSE 100 6,802.87 +0.17%
FTSE 250 15,630.82 -0.39%
The Footsie was largely unchanged come the midday point of the session ahead of a raft of key data and events later in the week, including the latest US jobs report and a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The top tier index was standing 11.32 points above Friday's close of 6,791.55.
Alpari UK Analyst Craig Erlam said that with little out from Europe in the early part of the week, "the US is likely to be the biggest driver of most of the major markets this week".
He continued: "This is particularly true in the second half of the week when we'll have a barrage of massive economic indicators, almost 100 S&P 500
companies reporting second quarter earnings and a Federal Open Market Committee decision to cap everything off.
"Do not underestimate how big an impact that final few days of the week could have on the markets. We've all been looking for that thing that brings volatility back to the markets, well this could well be it."
The build up to this could result in some degree of greater risk aversion, he further explained, although the number of companies releasing results will help to limit this.
Data that was due to be released later on in the day included the US July Markit services and composite Purchasing Mangers' Index (PMI) figures, alongside June pending home sales.
Acting as a backdrop, traders continued to closely monitor the worsening security situation in Gaza and Ukraine.
Reckitt Benckiser sees challenging conditions in second half
Back in the UK, and in this morning's company news, Reckitt Benkiser said that it expects market conditions to remain challenging in the second half of the year, particularly in the US and certain emerging markets, but that it was still on track to achieve its full year total revenue growth target of 4-5%. The household goods group also announced that it is planning to hive off its drug arm into a separate UK-listed company.
Aberdeen Asset Management reported a pick-up in business in Asia and emerging markets, but revealed a slight fall in assets under management. Assets under management at June 30th totalled £322.5bn, down 0.6% on the £324.5m at the end of March 2014.
Analysts at Credit Suisse upped their price target on shares
of RBS to 310p from 280p previously, but retained their 'underperform' rating. The lender is progressing better than expected on the run-down of the assets of its non-core RBS Capital Resolution (RCR) arm, but its valuation already captures the "steady state" profile of returns which can be expected, according to the broker.
A breakup of GlaxoSmithKline is a possibility as a result of a sweeping overhaul of the group, according to the Chief Executive of the pharmaceuticals giant, the Financial Times said.
Budget airline Ryanair more than doubled its first quarter profit and said it was raising annual profit expectations, but warned of second-half pressure on fares from rival price-cutting. Ryanair said first quarter net profit rose 152% to €197m versus the same time a year ago due partly to a strong Easter, but cautioned that it compared with no holiday in the same period last time.
Randgold Resources said it was focusing on its Tongon gold mine in Côte d'Ivoire where it is "continuing to make headway" in its efforts to overcome the technical issues that have affected its performance. Chief Executive Mark Bristow admitted this year's planned ramp-up in production had not been achieved due to the need to expand the flotation circuit and the mechanical failure of the recently installed Vibrocone crushers, intended to improve the recovery and throughput rate.
National Grid reported a continued "solid operational and financial performance" between April 1st and July 27th, with the UK delivering operational efficiencies and progress with its investment programme, while the US saw a good operational performance.
FTSE 100 - Risers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 897.50p +2.63%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,190.00p +2.37%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 631.60p +1.59%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,761.00p +1.38%
Pearson (PSON) 1,147.00p +1.33%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,233.50p +1.23%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,345.00p +0.98%
Diageo (DGE) 1,813.50p +0.89%
Fresnillo (FRES) 928.50p +0.87%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,626.00p +0.81%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 445.00p -3.13%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 354.10p -2.77%
Glencore (GLEN) 369.85p -2.03%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,051.00p -1.59%
Carnival (CCL) 2,115.00p -1.58%
Kingfisher (KGF) 300.20p -1.44%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 934.00p -1.37%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,045.00p -1.14%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,921.00p -0.88%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,269.00p -0.86%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Debenhams (DEB) 67.40p +5.15%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 215.70p +2.23%
Rank Group (RNK) 161.00p +1.19%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 688.00p +1.18%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 612.00p +0.99%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 338.00p +0.90%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 739.00p +0.82%
Drax Group (DRX) 673.50p +0.75%
Lonmin (LMI) 242.80p +0.75%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 362.60p +0.72%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,052.00p -3.53%
AO World (AO.) 205.00p -3.35%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 350.20p -2.59%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,850.00p -2.58%
Polymetal International (POLY) 529.00p -2.40%
DCC (DCC) 3,401.00p -2.24%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 179.00p -2.19%
Just Eat (JE.) 214.30p -2.15%
RPS Group (RPS) 264.80p -2.11%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 87.15p -2.08%