- World Bank cuts forecasts for China
- Evraz leads miners lower
- BAE drops on risks to EADS merger
UK stocks slid sharply on Monday morning with mining and financial shares
weighing on the FTSE 100 early on as concerns over the global economy spurred a move away from 'risk'.
The World Bank has cut its 2012 growth estimate for China from 8.2% to 7.7%, saying that the economy has been hit by weak export demand and investment growth. "China's slowdown this year has been significant, and some fear it could still accelerate," the World Bank said.
This follows the leaked estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) growth forecasts last week. The IMF is expected to announce tomorrow that it has revised down its growth expectations for this year and the next.
Meanwhile, according to the Brookings Institution-Financial Times' tracking index, known as 'Tiger', the world's recovery is "on the ropes".
"Overall trading activity is likely to be subdued today as markets continue to be range-bound although with a slight downward bias," said Markus Huber from ETX Capital.
"It remains doubtful if markets will be able to stage a breakout to the upside any time soon as long as Spain hasn't agreed to an aid package instead it needs to be seen how much patience investors really have what Spain is concerned with markets are likely to test the recent lows if there isn't a solution soon."
FTSE 100: Evraz leads the decline on broker comments
Steel giant Evraz was a heavy faller after Nomura revised its steel demand growth forecast from 3% to 0% for 2013, saying that it expects "further weakness" in the sector. "We expect continued weakness in the sector as investors are unlikely to buy the equities into what is already expected to be a challenging 3Q results season," the broker said.
Sector peers Fresnillo, Vedanta, ENRC and BHP Billtion were also out of favour, along with financial stocks Old Mutual, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Shares in BAE Systems were under pressure after its largest shareholder Invesco (which owns 13.3%) has highlighted its "significant reservations" with the group's potential merger with aerospace giant EADS. The fund manager said that it "does not understand the strategic logic for the proposed combination", saying that the merger would materially jeopardise BAE's position in the US defence market.
Imperial Tobacco was trading lower after Nomura downgraded its rating on the stock from 'neutral' to 'reduce' as part of its sector review on the European tobacco sector. The broker lowered its view on the sector from 'bearish' to 'neutral' this morning, saying that after three years of outperform, there is a risk of underperformance as many of the drivers of the 19% per annum average total shareholder return since 2009 are less supportive from here.
FTSE 250: Cookson sinks on Engineered Ceramics slowdown
Cookson, which provides materials and know-how to the steel production, foundry castings and eletronics markets, has warned on full-year profits after a sticky third quarter for its Engineered Ceramics division. Shares dropped around 14.55% early on.
Michael Page International, the recruitment consultant, fell after warning that full-year operating profit will be slightly below current analyst expectations in its second disappointing trading update in a row. Sector peer Hays was also lower.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Carnival (CCL) 2,361.00p +0.04%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 243.80p -4.05%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,910.00p -2.90%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,071.00p -2.72%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,802.00p -2.70%
Old Mutual (OML) 168.40p -2.32%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 325.90p -2.22%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,125.00p -2.09%
IMI (IMI) 951.00p -2.06%
GKN (GKN) 221.90p -1.94%
Melrose (MRO) 241.70p -1.91%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Rank Group (RNK) 152.29p +1.87%
Halfords Group (HFD) 307.40p +1.59%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 66.85p +1.29%
Shanks Group (SKS) 82.10p +0.86%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 117.40p +0.86%
easyJet (EZJ) 623.00p +0.56%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 280.00p +0.54%
Restaurant Group (RTN) 368.90p +0.46%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 78.45p +0.32%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 194.50p +0.31%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cookson Group (CKSN) 525.50p -14.55%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 260.80p -6.69%
Michael Page International (MPI) 350.00p -4.14%
Lonmin (LMI) 529.00p -3.64%
Hays (HAS) 75.90p -3.50%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 66.35p -3.42%
Cranswick (CWK) 765.00p -3.35%
Perform Group (PER) 415.00p -3.17%
Homeserve (HSV) 222.60p -2.96%
FirstGroup (FGP) 190.40p -2.91%