UK stocks have opened on the back foot with traders agitating over possible delays to the Eurozone´s plans for a banking union, as Germany calls for a more measured approach and a slower pace.
Also weighing on sentiment is market chatter pointing to the possibility of a slower policy response from Chinese authorities as the US and Europe act to head-off the worst scenarios. In that same vein, economists at Citigroup have today cut their forecast for Chinese GDP growth this year to 7.6% from 8% before.
Copper inventories with the LME in Asia rose last week for the first time in five, by 3.9% to 93,050 tons.
Of interest as well, sceptical comments from analysts at JP Morgan regarding current valuations in stock markets. These remarks come as equities are still sitting perched near six month highs.
House prices, seen as a major element of consumer confidence in the UK, remain subdued, according to data from property web site Rightmove. The average price of a home coming to market this September in the UK is £234,858, a mere 0.7% higher than a year earlier and 0.1% lower than in September 2007, according to Rightmove.
Vodafone preparing for legal battle over Indian tax bill
On the corporate front, mobile phone network titan Vodafone is lower after Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford told the Bloomberg news agency that the company may make a provision to cover legal risks associated with its fight to avoid a $2.2bn tax bill in India.
Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a setback on its Alaska drilling programme, with the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger barge sustaining damage during a final test of the containment system. The time required to repair the dome, along with steps taken to protect local whaling operations and to ensure the safety of operations from ice flow movement, have led the oil giant to revise its plans for the 2012-2013 exploration programme.
Reckitt Benckiser, the Anglo-Dutch household goods firm behind the Cillit Bang brand, has nabbed Adrian Hennah from medical technology business Smith & Nephew to be its new Chief Financial Officer. Hennah will get his feet under his new desk in 2013.
Amplats to reopen Rusteburg ops
Anglo American Platinum - or Amplats - said it plans to reopen operations in Rustenburg after work was suspended last week to protect staff. The firm, which accounts for around 40% of global platinum supply, took the decision to stop operations in the area to protect the safety and security of its employees from "outside intimidation". Industrial relations in the South African mining sector remain on a knife edge a month after 44 people died during violent protests at Lonmin's Marikana project close to the Rustenburg area.
FTSE-250 oil and gas company Ophir Energy said that three results in its drilling programme in block R, Equatorial Guinea were better than expected, but share price reaction suggests investors beg to differ. All three wells drilled exceeded pre-drilling recoverable resource estimates, the Africa-focused company revealed. As a result of test drilling on Fortuna West-1 (R6), the sixth gas discovery in block R, the total management estimate of Block R recoverable contingent resources (2C) has been lifted by more than 300% from the pre-2012 drilling programme estimate of 697bn cubic feet, which is 116m barrels of oil equivlent (mmboe), to 3.0trn cubic feet, or 500 mmboe.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Unilever (ULVR) 2,275.00p +1.34%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 3,596.00p +0.67%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 724.50p +0.62%
G4S (GFS) 262.60p +0.61%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,465.00p +0.61%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,282.00p +0.55%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,694.00p +0.53%
Capita (CPI) 740.00p +0.48%
Compass Group (CPG) 709.00p +0.42%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 304.50p +0.40%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 354.50p -2.40%
Evraz (EVR) 287.80p -2.01%
CRH (CRH) 1,254.00p -1.88%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,103.00p -1.78%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 761.50p -1.49%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,074.00p -1.47%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,053.50p -1.46%
Aviva (AV.) 358.20p -1.35%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,240.00p -1.26%
ITV (ITV) 86.25p -1.15%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Perform Group (PER) 393.00p +5.08%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 139.50p +4.49%
Chemring Group (CHG) 358.80p +3.70%
Ruspetro (RPO) 116.00p +3.48%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 290.76p +3.22%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 76.00p +2.63%
National Express Group (NEX) 236.00p +2.39%
Diploma (DPLM) 468.50p +2.16%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 49.84p +2.13%
Elementis (ELM) 245.00p +1.96%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 615.00p -4.06%
TR Property Inv Trust Sigma Shares (TRYS) 70.94p -2.42%
Salamander Energy (SMDR) 195.20p -2.40%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 147.90p -2.38%
Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI) (GEMD) 192.60p -2.23%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 262.90p -2.19%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 87.75p -2.17%
Kier Group (KIE) 1,369.00p -2.14%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 165.40p -2.13%
Avocet Mining (AVM) 93.05p -2.05%