- BP, Weir and Fresnillo provide some downward pressure
- UK consumer confidence remains subdued
- Markets await the Fed and ECB
Some disappointing results from BP, Weir Group and Fresnillo were preventing gains for the Footsie on Tuesday morning; meanwhile, consumer confidence data in the UK showed that sentiment remained subdued in July.
The GfK consumer confidence index was unchanged this month at -29, in line with consensus forecasts. Analysts at Barclays Capital said this morning: "Consumer confidence remains subdued and it has been at these low levels (between -29 and -33) for over a year now. Although inflation has fallen and the unemployment rate has edged down, we think the uncertainty about the economic outlook, the continued austerity measures and weak earnings growth are likely to keep consumer sentiment at subdued levels in the near term."
Investors were also showing caution following some strong gains the day before as markets hope for central bank action in the US and Europe this week. The Federal Reserve kicks off its two-day policy meeting today, while the European Central Bank (ECB) will reveal its decision on Thursday.
Many are expecting the ECB to resume bond-buying after its President Mario Draghi said last week that the bank will do "whatever it takes to preserve the euro...and believe me, it will be big enough".
FTSE 100: Heavy falls from BP, Weir and Fresnillo early on
Weaker oil and gas prices and a cut in output due to an extensive maintenance programme hit BP's profits hard in the second quarter. Shares dropped over 3% early on.
Scottish engineering firm Weir tumbled after advising that full-year profits are likely to come in below market expectations if there is no pick-up in the upstream Oil & Gas markets.
Mexico-focused precious metals miner Fresnillo dropped after being hit by the falling price of silver and reduced ore quality, leading to a significant fall in first-half profits.
UK banking groups Barclays and RBS were heavy fallers after earnings from their European counterparts UBS and Deutsche Bank came up short of forecasts.
Holiday Inns operator InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) fell after the findings of an Office of Fair Trading (OFT) investigation criticised the hotel group's arrangements with two online booking agents.
UK engineering giant GKN was lower in spite of seeing profits jump in the first half as it benefitted from a broad exposure to global markets.
Heading the other way was precious metals miner Polymetal after its produced more than half a million ounces of gold equivalent in the first half of 2012, with production reaching a new high in the second quarter. Sector peer Randgold also made gains.
Xstrata was also on the up after seeing stronger second-quarter production in coal, nickel, zinc and lead compared with the first quarter.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vedanta Resources (VED) 947.00p +2.05%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,890.00p +1.46%
Polymetal International (POLY) 898.00p +1.30%
Amec (AMEC) 1,130.00p +1.07%
Xstrata (XTA) 852.90p +1.01%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,934.00p +0.86%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,189.50p +0.83%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 183.95p +0.79%
Glencore International (GLEN) 320.90p +0.79%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,266.00p +0.78%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BP (BP.) 430.40p -3.16%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,651.00p -3.11%
ITV (ITV) 74.80p -2.60%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,426.00p -1.86%
Barclays (BARC) 167.65p -1.70%
Shire Plc (SHP) 1,892.00p -1.61%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,334.00p -1.52%
CRH (CRH) 1,213.00p -1.46%
Schroders (SDR) 1,301.00p -1.44%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 160.40p -0.99%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Elementis (ELM) 212.90p +6.45%
Grainger (GRI) 91.35p +2.47%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 130.00p +2.36%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 273.40p +2.28%
Rank Group (RNK) 119.00p +2.15%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 115.60p +2.03%
Hiscox Ltd. (HSX) 443.50p +1.72%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 557.50p +1.55%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 497.50p +1.47%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,288.00p +1.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Inchcape (INCH) 379.50p -2.39%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 371.80p -2.24%
Savills (SVS) 357.60p -2.21%
Perform Group (PER) 367.50p -2.00%
Diploma (DPLM) 411.70p -1.98%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 299.30p -1.87%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 484.44p -1.72%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 108.50p -1.63%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 76.90p -1.60%
Ruspetro (RPO) 141.00p -1.54%