- Global growth concerns weigh on cyclicals
- Investors worries about Eurozone uncertainty
- Evraz sinks after gloomy broker comments
After a steep fall early on, the FTSE 100 traded sideways for most of the morning session with cyclical stocks (including the miners and banks) dampened by concerns about the global economy.
The World Bank has cut its 2012 growth estimate for China from 8.2% to 7.7%, saying that the economy has been hit by weak export demand and investment growth. "China's slowdown this year has been significant, and some fear it could still accelerate," the World Bank said.
This follows the leaked estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts last week. The IMF is expected to announce tomorrow that it has revised down its global growth expectations for this year and the next.
Meanwhile, according to the Brookings Institution-Financial Times' tracking index, known as 'Tiger', the world's recovery is "on the ropes".
As for the Eurozone, market analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said this morning: "It now looks like Greece will have to wait until November at the earliest to receive the next bailout payment of €31.5bn. This is only going to add to the uncertainty surrounding the eurozone with Spain still yet to request a bailout.
"This will take its toll on investors over the coming weeks. It is very clear to everyone that the performance of equities at the moment are not a true reflection of the companies themselves so this could easily convince investors into moving towards safe lower yielding assets."
Erlam also said that US stocks are likely to struggle in the coming weeks as benchmarks move away from their recent multi-year highs. Corporate earnings season is to kick off this evening when aluminium giant Alcoa reports after the close of trade.
FTSE 100: Evraz drops on steel demand concerns
Steel giant Evraz was a heavy faller after Nomura revised its steel demand growth forecast from 3% to 0% for 2013, saying that it expects "further weakness" in the sector. "We expect continued weakness in the sector as investors are unlikely to buy the equities into what is already expected to be a challenging 3Q results season," the broker said. Mining peers Vedanta, ENRC and Kazakhmys were also firmly out of favour.
Financials were also hit this morning with Old Mutual, Barclays, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland registering moderate losses.
Shares in BAE Systems were under pressure after its largest shareholder Invesco (which owns 13.3%) highlighted "significant reservations" it has about the group's potential merger with aerospace giant EADS. The fund manager said that it "does not understand the strategic logic for the proposed combination", saying that the merger would materially jeopardise BAE's position in the US defence market.
Imperial Tobacco was trading lower after Nomura downgraded its rating on the stock from 'neutral' to 'reduce' as part of its sector review on the European tobacco sector. The broker lowered its view on the sector from 'bearish' to 'neutral' this morning, saying that after three years of outperformance, there is a risk of underperformance as many of the drivers of the 19% per annum average total shareholder return since 2009 are less supportive from here.
Luxury brand Burberry was unwanted this morning ahead of its pre-closing trading statement for the second quarter due on Thursday. Seymour Pierce said this morning that it can't see Burberry shares
performing well until there is "better news on demand" following the poorly-received update last month.
FTSE 250: Cookson sinks on Ceramics slowdown
Cookson, which provides materials and know-how to the steel production, foundry castings and eletronics markets, has warned on full-year profits after a sticky third quarter for its Engineered Ceramics division. Investec said this morning that 10% downgrades to consensus earnings estimates are now likely.
Michael Page International, the recruitment consultant, fell after warning that full-year operating profit will be slightly below current analysts' expectations in its second disappointing trading update in a row. Sector peer Hays was also in the red.
Bacon and sausage supplier Cranswick was lower this morning after saying that sales were up 5% in the first half as a whole, down from the 7.4% growth seen in the first three months of the year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 281.20p +1.08%
Carnival (CCL) 2,374.00p +0.59%
Hammerson (HMSO) 469.80p +0.49%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 968.50p +0.41%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 668.00p +0.30%
Experian (EXPN) 1,075.00p +0.28%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 181.10p +0.25%
Pennon Group (PNN) 732.50p +0.21%
BG Group (BG.) 1,302.00p +0.12%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,221.50p +0.11%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 240.60p -5.31%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,059.00p -3.81%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 321.60p -3.51%
GKN (GKN) 219.60p -2.96%
Old Mutual (OML) 167.60p -2.78%
Melrose (MRO) 239.70p -2.72%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,306.00p -2.41%
Barclays (BARC) 222.55p -2.33%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 721.00p -2.30%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 257.60p -2.24%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Halfords Group (HFD) 318.90p +5.39%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 99.30p +2.58%
Ruspetro (RPO) 107.00p +2.49%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 121.30p +2.02%
Shanks Group (SKS) 82.70p +1.60%
Rank Group (RNK) 151.80p +1.54%
Ted Baker (TED) 935.00p +1.52%
Rightmove (RMV) 1,634.00p +1.36%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 769.50p +1.25%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 476.20p +0.93%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cookson Group (CKSN) 529.50p -13.90%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 256.50p -8.23%
Lonmin (LMI) 524.50p -4.46%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 65.65p -4.44%
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 169.10p -4.30%
Bodycote (BOY) 393.70p -4.23%
Cranswick (CWK) 762.00p -3.73%
Hays (HAS) 75.95p -3.43%
Homeserve (HSV) 222.10p -3.18%
Spectris (SXS) 1,743.00p -3.17%