- BT lifts earnings outlook for full year
- German retail sales fall, Eurozone CPI ahead
- FTSE 100 down two per cent on the week
techMARK 2,777.63 -0.10%
FTSE 100 6,519.07 -0.30%
FTSE 250 15,723.63 +0.14%
UK markets were in the red for a third straight day on Friday despite strong gains for heavyweight constituent BT, as investors adopted a cautious approach amid a data-heavy session.
The FTSE 100 was 0.3% lower at 6,519 early on, trading at levels not seen since December 18th when it closed at 6,492.08.
Ongoing concerns about emerging markets and a further reduction of stimulus in the States have weighed heavily on markets this week as traders scaled back their appetite for risk. As it stands, London's benchmark index is now more than 2% lower than last Friday's closing price.
Adding to the selling pressure this morning was a surprise 2.5% drop in German retail sales in December, compared with a revised 0.9% gain the month before. Analysts had expected sales to rise by 0.2% from November.
Markets across Europe were trading broadly lower his morning ahead of the all-important Eurozone consumer price index data, which is expected to show that the annual rate of inflation ticked up to 0.9% in January, from 0.8% in December.
However, with the European Central Bank (ECB) targeting inflation of close to, but under, 2%, any downside surprise in the CPI figure today will likely lead to renewed calls for the ECB to loosen monetary policy further following the recent rate cut.
BT ups full-year guidance
Telecoms titan BT was a high riser this morning after raising its earnings outlook for the year as its broadband fibre business and new BT Sport channels helped it to boost profits by 8% in the third quarter.
Drinks group Diageo was extending losses made yesterday when it disappointed investors with worse-than-expected first-half results. Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on the stock to 'neutral' this morning and slashed its target price from 2,660p to 1,996p.
The bank, however, gave tobacco giant Imperial a lift this morning after upgrading its stance to 'conviction buy' and raising its target from 2,545p to 2,840p.
Asset manager Schroders was also performing well after Berenberg lifted the stock to 'buy' and hiked its target from 2,550p to 3,050p.
The Paragon Group of Companies saw its share price surge after saying that new buy-to-let lending increased "significantly" during its first quarter and operating profits were 13.5% ahead of last year.
Pizza delivery chain Domino's was higher after saying Senior Non-Executive Director David Wild will be acting as Chief Executive until a replacement for Lance Batchelor is found. Credit Suisse also upgraded the stock to 'outperform' today.
Web and technology business Premier Farnell said that sales had picked up in the second half of the year but shares
fell sharply after the firm warned that operating margins would be flat next year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BT Group (BT.A) 382.50p +3.13%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,248.00p +3.02%
Fresnillo (FRES) 782.00p +1.96%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,434.00p +1.63%
National Grid (NG.) 790.00p +1.02%
BG Group (BG.) 1,018.50p +0.99%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,177.00p +0.84%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,913.00p +0.81%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,744.00p +0.69%
Schroders (SDR) 2,500.00p +0.68%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BAE Systems (BA.) 427.10p -2.04%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,532.00p -1.79%
Barclays (BARC) 270.45p -1.67%
Sage Group (SGE) 414.50p -1.43%
CRH (CRH) 1,576.00p -1.38%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,495.00p -1.25%
Amec (AMEC) 1,023.00p -1.25%
ITV (ITV) 199.30p -1.24%
Aviva (AV.) 447.10p -1.19%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 469.30p -1.18%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 365.70p +5.12%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 532.50p +3.60%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,179.00p +3.42%
Synthomer (SYNT) 281.50p +3.30%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 221.70p +2.35%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 339.10p +2.20%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 45.15p +2.17%
Perform Group (PER) 239.90p +2.09%
NMC Health (NMC) 485.90p +2.08%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.79 +2.08%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Premier Farnell (PFL) 215.50p -7.95%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 58.20p -3.72%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 814.50p -2.75%
esure Group (ESUR) 268.70p -2.22%
Intu Properties (INTU) 320.00p -1.84%
Dignity (DTY) 1,466.00p -1.68%
Diploma (DPLM) 684.00p -1.58%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 328.10p -1.44%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,509.00p -1.41%
Man Group (EMG) 81.85p -1.15%