- FTSE falls more than expected
- China woes knock sentiment
- German Q4 GDP as forecast
techMARK 2,903.17 -0.49%
FTSE 100 6,832.37 -0.49%
FTSE 250 16,471.23 -0.41%
The FTSE suffered a bigger-than-predicted decline in opening trade this morning, dragged by a poor performance on the Chinese stock market overnight.
The index declined 35 points early on.
The CSI300 registered its biggest one-day drop in seven months, hit by a heavy fall in the yuan and fears about lending in the property sector. For the first time since September 2012, the yuan dropped below the official midpoint rate.
German exports drive Q4 GDP growth
Over in Germany, the second release of fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) confirmed the first growth estimate and showed that the Eurozone's largest economy economy grew 1.3% on the year, marking an increase from the prior quarter's 1.1% rise. Quarter-on-quarter, GDP increased 0.4%, in line with the consensus estimate for no change in the preliminary estimate.
Exports pushed growth figures as they registered their largest expansion in almost three years, rising 2.6% from the previous quarter.
Meanwhile, the European Commission is due to release its economic growth forecasts for the Eurozone this morning, giving its predictions for the economy in the coming two years. This will prove interesting given indications from the European Central Bank's President, Mario Draghi, at the weekend that the bank may choose to ease monetary policy at its next meeting.
"The forecasts released today could give us some insight into what the ECBs own forecasts will be, which will only assist us in predicting exactly what the ECB will do," Erlam continued. "At this stage, I don't see the ECB doing anything rash and I can't imagine these forecasts changing that, but as with all central banks in recent years, the ECB can be unpredictable so it shouldn't be written off."
Persimmon's annual profits and revenue rise on improved market
Housebuilder Persimmon rose strongly after it reported a 21% rise in 2013 revenue to £2.1bn against the previous year as prices accelerated amid an improving UK market. Underlying pre-tax profit for the year through December 2013 jumped 49% to £330m. Operating margins increased to 16% from 12.9% the prior year, as the average selling price of homes climbed 4% to £181,861.
RSA Insurance recovered somewhat from yesterday's declines, which came after it issued a statement acknowledging recent press speculation regarding a potential rights issue and stated it was "considering" several options.
CRH climbed despite poor results for 2013 after Chief Executive of the construction materials group, Albert Manifold, said he expected 2014 to be a year of profit growth, with current trading ahead of last year. The group blamed severe winter conditions and weaker trading in Europe for the results, which reported a six per cent decline in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.47bn euros.
fell sharply after the group reported a flat full-year performance in Europe, while both Japanese and Indian production fell 4%. Broker Jefferies was upbeat about the stock, however, giving it a 'buy' rating, saying the result was ahead of its forecasts.
FTSE 100 - Risers
CRH (CRH) 1,732.00p +2.85%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,487.00p +1.09%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,947.00p +0.92%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 98.40p +0.92%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,481.00p +0.75%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 328.10p +0.71%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,060.00p +0.70%
BAE Systems (BA.) 420.30p +0.67%
G4S (GFS) 237.10p +0.38%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 373.90p +0.30%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
GKN (GKN) 400.10p -3.57%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,486.50p -3.06%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,438.00p -2.79%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 380.70p -2.38%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 246.90p -2.14%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 915.00p -1.93%
Fresnillo (FRES) 978.50p -1.90%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,926.50p -1.71%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 331.10p -1.60%
William Hill (WMH) 367.20p -1.13%
FTSE 250 - Risers
St James's Place (STJ) 823.50p +3.65%
NMC Health (NMC) 458.80p +2.57%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 414.10p +1.82%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,199.00p +1.70%
Perform Group (PER) 223.50p +1.59%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 283.90p +1.43%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 401.40p +1.13%
RPS Group (RPS) 327.00p +1.02%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,366.00p +0.98%
Provident Financial (PFG) 1,879.00p +0.86%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 316.00p -7.06%
Genus (GNS) 1,114.00p -7.01%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,360.00p -3.67%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 65.55p -2.46%
Evraz (EVR) 78.25p -2.37%
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 902.50p -2.17%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 167.60p -1.99%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 148.00p -1.99%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 851.50p -1.96%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 137.40p -1.86%