- UK mortgage approvals fall to 11-month low
- Eurozone inflation remains subdued at 0.5%
- Chicago PMI, US pending home sales ahead
- Diageo rises on SABMiller merger reports
techMARK 2,819.43 +0.06%
FTSE 100 6,750.89 -0.10%
FTSE 250 15,719.66 +0.24%
London stocks had erased gains by Monday lunchtime as investors digested a wave of global economic data, including figures that showed that UK mortgage approvals fell to an 11-month low.
"The summer lull seems to have started in earnest this morning, as early gains for the London market were given back," said Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.1% lower at 6,751 by around midday, after hitting a high of 6,777.11 early on.
The UK housing market slowed last month amid signs that a clampdown on lending is kicking in. UK mortgage approvals numbered 61,707 in May, down from 62,806 in April, a smaller-than-expected fall but still hitting their lowest level since June 2013, according to the Bank of England this morning.
Economists said new rules launched in April as part of the Mortgage Market Review, which make mortgage lenders take more account of their customers' ability to pay, were having an effect.
Investors were also reacting to a surprise drop in German retail sales and a subdued increase in Japanese industrial output, along with Eurozone inflation data which showed that price rises remained near a five-year low of 0.5% in June.
While the price data was in line with the consensus forecast, analysts at Capital Economics highlighted that inflation is "still dangerously low". They said: "[the data] will add to pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to provide more policy support, particularly given recent signs that the recovery may already be slowing."
Looking ahead to the rest of the week, markets will be on the lookout for this month's policy decision by the ECB, the all-important US non-farm payrolls report, as well as manufacturing purchasing managers' indices (PMI) from the UK, Eurozone, US and China. As for today's session, this afternoon's focus will be on US pending home sales and the Chicago PMI.
easyJet drops on BofA downgrade, Diageo gains
Budget airline easyJet dropped sharply this morning after analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded their rating on the stock from 'neutral' to 'underperform', saying that the upgrade cycle may be over. Sector peer IAG also fell.
Leading the risers was Diageo on market chatter that the beverage company could merge with rival SABMiller.
Anglo American was swinging between gains and losses after The Sunday Times said the company has put some of its South African platinum mines up for sale as part of a plan to sell off $4bn of its underperforming assets.
Pharmaceutical group Shire was edged higher on reports that the boss of US rival AbbVie, which recently made a £27bn takeover for Shire, is travelling to London to hold talks with its shareholders. Shire also announced today that it is to receive a total of $410m as a tax refund from Canadian authorities.
Switzerland-based bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC rose as it announced plans to pull its shares
from the US stock market after experiencing low trading volumes. Since joining the premium listing segment of the LSE earlier this year, the UK has become the principal trading market for CCH's shares and accounted for over 85% of total trading volume in the 12 months to June 18th 2014.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Diageo (DGE) 1,875.00p +1.49%
Fresnillo (FRES) 864.00p +1.05%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,421.00p +1.03%
BAE Systems (BA.) 436.00p +1.02%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,487.00p +0.88%
G4S (GFS) 255.90p +0.87%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,391.50p +0.76%
ITV (ITV) 177.40p +0.74%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 899.00p +0.67%
Rexam (REX) 531.00p +0.66%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,383.00p -5.21%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 703.50p -2.76%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,237.00p -1.98%
TUI Travel (TT.) 396.10p -1.83%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 74.01p -1.78%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 377.00p -1.77%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,055.00p -1.31%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,059.00p -1.21%
CRH (CRH) 1,502.00p -1.18%
3i Group (III) 401.20p -1.11%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 99.50p +4.74%
Debenhams (DEB) 69.50p +3.35%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 195.70p +3.33%
Senior (SNR) 284.00p +2.82%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 475.40p +2.77%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 414.90p +2.44%
Ted Baker (TED) 1,805.00p +2.32%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,090.00p +2.06%
Man Group (EMG) 104.30p +2.05%
Pace (PIC) 351.50p +1.82%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 925.00p -3.70%
AO World (AO.) 263.00p -3.02%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 836.50p -3.01%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 261.00p -2.47%
Exova Group (EXO) 246.20p -2.11%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 387.70p -2.02%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 296.60p -1.89%
Redrow (RDW) 277.60p -1.66%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 605.00p -1.63%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 310.90p -1.55%