- UK Q2 GDP data coming out soon
- Footsie nears one-month low
- BT, Johnson Matthey, Tullow and BATS disappoint
The FTSE 100 index looks set to experience its fourth straight day in the red as concerns over the Eurozone outlook continue to dampen equity markets worldwide; investors in London will likely be keeping their eyes peeled for the upcoming gross domestic product (GDP) data later on this morning.
The last time the Footsie closed lower than this level was on June 26th, when it finished at 5,447. Today, heavyweight stocks BT, Johnson Matthey, Tullow and British American Tobacco (BATS) were heavy fallers after their results disappointed.
Second-quarter GDP data in the UK is due out soon. Economists are expecting a 0.2% quarter-on-quarter decline, and a 0.3% year-on-year fall. Any quarterly decline would see Britain enter its third month of recession.
In Eurozone news, following Moody's ratings outlook cut for AAA-rated sovereigns Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg yesterday, the ratings agency has also reduced its outlook for the AAA rating of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) from 'stable' to 'negative'.
The agency said that a deterioration in the creditworthiness of the participating euro area member states are among the risks that would negatively affect the creditworthiness of the EFSF, the temporary European bailout fund.
FTSE 100: Updates disappoint early on
Telecoms titan BT dropped in the opening hour after saying that while underlying earnings grew in the first quarter, its corporate customer-focused Global Services unit having a tough time of it in Europe and London's financial district.
Shares in speciality chemicals group Johnson Matthey slipped after the firm reported weakness in its precious metals division as a result of lower commodity prices. Sales in the division were down 8% in the first quarter.
Tullow Oil dropped despite hailing an "excellent" first half. Revenues grew by 10% on the back of increased sales volumes, average production and sustained high oil prices. Pre-tax profits surged by 48% but growth growth was held back by increased exploration write-offs and higher costs.
Cigarette giant BATS disappointed after saying that currency headwinds in key markets saw reported revenues hold steady in the first half. Exchange adverse FX movements, revenues rose 4%.
Utilities group SSE was a heavy faller after going ex-dividend; from today onwards, investors will not have the right to the group's latest dividend payment.
Leading the upside was outsourcing behemoth Capita which advanced after saying it is confident of growing revenue this year and beyond as it takes advantage of a buoyant outsourcing market in the UK public sector. Revenue in the first half was up 15%.
Chip designer ARM Holdings gained after reporting a 12% rise in dollar
revenues (up 15% in pounds) in the first half and saying that it enters the second half with a record order backlog and robust opportunity pipeline.
FTSE 250: Renishaw leads the risers
Precision tool maker Renishaw jumped after posting a 7% increase in annual pre-tax profit, boosted by strong demand across all its markets for its precision measuring products.
Oil and gas producer Ophir Energy gained after announcing its third major discovery of 2012, with the latest good news coming from Equatorial Guinea.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ARM Holdings (ARM) 504.50p +4.06%
Capita (CPI) 694.00p +2.44%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,452.00p +1.61%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 108.90p +1.49%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 513.00p +1.38%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 516.00p +1.06%
GKN (GKN) 202.70p +1.00%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 198.40p +0.92%
WPP (WPP) 797.00p +0.82%
Polymetal International (POLY) 801.00p +0.75%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
SSE (SSE) 1,292.00p -5.28%
BT Group (BT.A) 207.30p -4.65%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,030.00p -4.06%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,316.00p -3.94%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,269.00p -1.18%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,509.00p -0.98%
BP (BP.) 423.95p -0.91%
Standard Life (SL.) 227.40p -0.83%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 123.30p -0.80%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 838.00p -0.77%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Renishaw (RSW) 1,344.00p +5.83%
Rank Group (RNK) 120.00p +3.45%
easyJet (EZJ) 546.00p +2.82%
FirstGroup (FGP) 211.00p +2.73%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 119.40p +2.67%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 391.00p +2.65%
Lancashire Holdings (LRE) 776.50p +2.44%
Cranswick (CWK) 838.00p +2.20%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 15.32p +2.13%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 597.00p +2.05%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 400.00p -22.85%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 59.50p -6.52%
Cookson Group (CKSN) 558.00p -6.38%
Informa (INF) 351.60p -4.95%
Investec (INVP) 364.50p -2.93%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 731.50p -2.60%
Laird (LRD) 185.20p -1.80%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 299.90p -1.67%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd. (GSS) 470.00p -1.61%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 110.60p -1.60%