- Rate of Chinese property price growth slows
- Carney dismissed banks' capital requirement concerns
- Bunzl jumps on strong results
techMARK 2,898.44 +0.14%
FTSE 100 6,823.97 -0.21%
FTSE 250 16,449.66 -0.07%
Disappointing data out from China overnight pushed the FTSE firmly into the red this morning, as the country's property data revealed a slower-than-expected rise.
The FTSE 100 traded 18 points lower than the opening level of 6,838 in the first 30 minutes of trade.
Back in the UK, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated in an interview that he gave limited concern to banks' fears over proposals for new capital requirements and said the new rules were necessary to protect against another crisis.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said: "Banks went into the financial crisis carrying de minimis levels of capital for example, less than two percentage points relative to their risk-weighted assets, let alone their actual assets. They carried basically no liquidity protection and they were reliant on the state to insure.
"The consequence was that we had a crisis where even countries that did the right thing in advance, such as my native Canada and here in Australia, had to take extraordinary measures to support the banks."
Meanwhile, over the weekend, a meeting of the G20 set an additional $2trn target for economic growth for the next five years, which it is hoped will increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of those countries by 2% above the currently expected levels.
Chinese data disappoints as growth slows
For the first time in 14 months, average new home prices in the country's 70 major cities showed signs of easing, gaining by 9.6% compared to a year earlier, compared to a 9.9% year-on-year climb registered the previous month.
"There is a very real fear that the People's Bank of China will be forced to tighten lending related to property in a bid to slow down the rise in property prices," Alpari Market Analyst Craig Erlam explained.
Attention to turn to Eurozone CPI
On the cards today is Eurozone CPI inflation, which on its preliminary reading showed it had declined to 0.7% last month, significantly below the European Central Bank's (ECB) target of 2%.
Erlam commented: "Despite ECB President Mario Draghi's best efforts to convince the markets that inflation expectations in the long term are for the rate to return to 2%, the markets are not convinced and are growing increasingly concerned about the rapid rate of disinflation. Should we see another drop in the figure today, the ECB may have no choice but to act next week."
Also on today's agenda is the February German Ifo business climate figure, which is predicted to have remained stable at 110.6.
Bunzl rises on strong full-year profit
Bunzl rose to the top of the leaderboard early on after revealing its 2013 operating profit had jumped 18% to £414m, boosted by acquisitions, but warned that adverse exchange rate
movements could hit future earnings if they remained at current levels. Pre-tax profits rose to £372.2m, an increase of 18% on the back of increased revenues of £6.1bn against £5.3bn in 2012. The FTSE 100-listed distribution and outsourcing giant also announced it had acquired businesses in Germany and the Czech Republic.
Vodafone was at the bottom of the pile as investors were issued with new Vodafone shares
following the Verizon deal.
Also in the red was RSA Insurance, which issued a statement acknowledging recent press speculation regarding a potential rights issue and stated it was "considering" several options. The group said: "RSA is considering measures to strengthen its balance sheet, including raising capital by way of a rights issue, however no final decision has been made by the company at this time. Further details will be given when appropriate."
Associated British Foods also dropped early on. The group said it expects first half adjusted operating profit to be in line with 2013 as a slump in the Sugar business was offset by a strong performance from its Primark stores. The company's revenue and profit from Sugar will be substantially lower than last year, as prices declined. A reduction in European sugar prices ahead of regime reform in 2017, has been signalled for some time. The world sugar price has also fallen to an "unsustainably low level", putting further pressure on industry revenues and margins.
Housebuilder Bovis Homes moved higher on the second tier after it posted a 48% increase in pre-tax profit and said it was confident of achieving strong 2014 results.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,548.00p +4.38%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,834.00p +1.38%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 983.00p +1.34%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 321.10p +1.20%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 376.90p +1.18%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,486.00p +1.16%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,329.00p +1.14%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,763.00p +1.09%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 392.50p +1.03%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 451.90p +0.94%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 247.60p -34.60%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 626.00p -4.31%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,544.00p -1.58%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 99.65p -1.53%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 940.50p -1.52%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,541.00p -1.25%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,960.00p -1.10%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,948.50p -1.09%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,302.50p -1.03%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 335.80p -0.96%
FTSE 250 - Risers
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 359.00p +2.57%
IP Group (IPO) 227.00p +2.25%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 397.90p +1.84%
Perform Group (PER) 224.00p +1.82%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.69 +1.65%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 65.55p +1.39%
Playtech (PTEC) 832.00p +1.34%
Betfair Group (BET) 1,118.00p +1.18%
F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd. (FCPT) 120.80p +1.17%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,299.00p +1.17%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 304.30p -3.34%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 229.10p -3.01%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 309.90p -2.49%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,479.00p -2.17%
Xaar (XAR) 1,105.00p -2.13%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 370.50p -1.62%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 321.90p -1.53%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,712.00p -1.53%
Laird (LRD) 323.60p -1.49%
Evraz (EVR) 81.10p -1.40%