- Markets flat ahead of US jobs report
- Stocks pause after ECB-inspired rally on Thursday
- Data disappoints from China, UK, Germany
techMARK 2,788.33 +0.33%
FTSE 100 6,564.10 +0.09%
FTSE 250 15,837.69 +0.30%
The FTSE 100 was more or less flat by midday on Friday after trading within a narrow range for most of the morning as investors kept their powder dry ahead of some key data from the States later on.
Nevertheless, disappointing economic figures from China, the UK and Germany was helping to cap upside on markets this morning as the FTSE 100 rose just 0.1% to 6,564 with just 25 points or so separating its intraday low and high.
London's benchmark index was also pausing for breath following an impressive 1.55% jump on Thursday after European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi said that policymakers stand "ready and willing to act" despite leaving interest rates unchanged at this month's meeting.
"There is little likelihood of anyone being prepared to show their hand on market direction this morning, we expect a general sideways move as we await the US non-farms data which is likely to be the catalyst we need to get a handle of where we go from here," said Senior Sales Trader Nick Dale-Lace from CMC Markets.
Investors were awaiting the Labor Department's official US jobs report data due out at 13:30, which is expected to show that non-farm payrolls rose to 180,000 in January from just 74,000 in December.
In China overnight, it was revealed that the HSBC/Markit service-sector purchasing managers' index fell from 50.9 to 50.7 in January. While still showing an expansion - reflected in any number above 50 - the slight fall represents a slowdown in growth to the lowest level in two and a half years.
Meanwhile, UK industrial production increased at a month-on-month rate of just 0.4% in December; better than November's revised 0.1% decline but below the 0.6% growth expected by analysts.
German industrial production data also failed to impress, showing an unexpected 0.6% decline in activity in December; surprising analysts who expected 0.3% growth after a revised 2.4% increase in November.
Tate & Lyle jumps after upgrade, Shire falls
Sugar and sweeteners firm Tate & Lyle was among the best performers this morning after JPMorgan Cazenove lifted its rating on the stock from 'underweight' to 'overweight'. The bank said that group earnings have been held back recently by investment in the speciality food ingredients division "but we believe this is now bearing fruit".
Property group British Land was also higher after lifting its holding in Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), a retail park property unit trust, by more than previously expected.
Heading the other way was Shire after saying it will no longer pursue the development of Vyvanse as a treatment for major depressive disorder as a clinical trial of the drug failed to meet objectives.
Pharmaceuticals peer AstraZeneca was in demand as it attempted to rebound after falling yesterday following its 2013 results. The company said that annual revenues fell 6% as it was hurt by competition from generic brands.
Oil and gas producers Tullow, BP Shell were trading lower as crude prices declined. Tullow was a heavy faller as recent bid speculation - which pushed the stock up sharply earlier in the week - began to fade.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Persimmon (PSN) 1,379.00p +2.91%
Meggitt (MGGT) 516.00p +2.28%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,914.00p +2.10%
TUI Travel (TT.) 432.20p +1.98%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 775.50p +1.91%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 415.00p +1.77%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,884.00p +1.76%
British Land Co (BLND) 669.50p +1.52%
Carnival (CCL) 2,572.00p +1.46%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 908.00p +1.34%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 834.50p -3.25%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,237.50p -1.43%
BG Group (BG.) 1,075.50p -1.01%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 694.50p -1.00%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,113.00p -0.89%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,188.00p -0.84%
BP (BP.) 478.30p -0.80%
Amec (AMEC) 1,042.00p -0.76%
Tesco (TSCO) 321.00p -0.74%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,425.00p -0.63%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 15.49p +6.46%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,402.00p +4.89%
Rotork (ROR) 2,447.00p +4.04%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 851.00p +3.46%
Alent (ALNT) 321.90p +2.68%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 492.60p +2.62%
Carillion (CLLN) 342.40p +2.61%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 840.00p +2.44%
SEGRO (SGRO) 353.10p +2.38%
Beazley (BEZ) 274.20p +2.31%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 179.10p -3.24%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,498.00p -2.60%
Perform Group (PER) 229.40p -2.38%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 318.90p -1.88%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 358.40p -1.81%
FirstGroup (FGP) 128.90p -1.53%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,977.00p -1.49%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 291.00p -1.36%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 789.00p -1.31%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 316.20p -1.19%