- Ukraine crisis steps up a gear
- Analysts cut forecasts for China
- US lifts ban on BP GoM contracts
- Financials gain, miners fall
techMARK 2,757.98 -1.04%
FTSE 100 6,525.28 -0.43%
FTSE 250 16,032.04 -0.95%
UK stocks were suffering losses again on Friday, falling for the sixth straight day, as heightened concerns about the crisis in Ukraine and fears over economic growth in China continued to weigh on sentiment.
The FTSE 100, which fell to a five-week low on Thursday, was trading 0.4% lower at 6,525 early on. The UK index dropped 1% to 6,553.78 yesterday, is worst closing level since February 5th.
US indices suffered their worst declines in five weeks yesterday while Asian markets dropped overnight "as risk-averse investors pull their positions and seek safe havens due to the flared up issues that surround Ukraine and the slowdown in China", said Financial Sales Trader Sam Fox from Spreadex.
Geopolitical tensions in Ukraine have escalated on the back of reports that Moscow is stepping up its military presence on the country's borders ahead of the Crimea referendum this weekend that could see the region vote to become part of the Russian Federation.
US President Barack Obama met Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House yesterday. Obama said that "the international community - the European Union and others - will be forced to apply a cost to Russia's violations of international law and its encroachments on Ukraine".
Turning to China, a whole range of analysts have downgraded their growth estimates for the Asian powerhouse in recent days, including those at JPMorgan, Bank of America, UBS and Nomura.
Amid tightening Chinese credit conditions that spooked global markets earlier in the week, data out Thursday showed that growth in industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investments all eased last month.
Growth concerns were also compounded yesterday after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warned that defaults on bonds and other financial products in the future are "unavoidable".
BP, financials gain; miners fall
Oil giant BP announced that it has entered into an administrative agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency which resolves the issues related to the suspension, debarment and disqualification of BP following the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.
As such, the group became eligible to enter into new contracts with the US government, including new deepwater leases in the Gulf of Mexico, giving shares
a lift this morning.
Financial stocks were performing well this morning with HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered and RBS all registering small gains.
Mining stocks were leading the downside on the back ongoing concerns over China with Rio Tinto and Antofagasta among the worst performers.
AstraZeneca was lower after JPMorgan Cazenove downgraded the pharmaceuticals group from 'neutral' to 'underweight', while engineering IMI was lifted from 'hold' to 'buy' by Societe Generale.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 312.10p +2.36%
IMI (IMI) 1,435.00p +1.27%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,800.50p +0.77%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 601.60p +0.74%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 93.20p +0.32%
BP (BP.) 479.95p +0.30%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,362.00p +0.30%
Tesco (TSCO) 299.60p +0.28%
Diageo (DGE) 1,809.50p +0.19%
Barclays (BARC) 236.05p +0.17%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 367.90p -2.34%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,796.00p -2.31%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,323.00p -2.22%
CRH (CRH) 1,635.00p -2.10%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,283.00p -1.84%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,403.00p -1.75%
Aviva (AV.) 507.00p -1.74%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,107.00p -1.74%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 888.00p -1.72%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,892.00p -1.71%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Rank Group (RNK) 137.00p +2.62%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 265.10p +2.36%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 524.50p +1.55%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 105.80p +0.76%
Grainger (GRI) 230.00p +0.66%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 97.55p +0.46%
International Public Ltd. (INPP) 129.80p +0.39%
Hiscox Ltd (HSX) 686.00p +0.37%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 356.80p +0.37%
BH Global Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHGG) 1,214.00p +0.33%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,191.00p -7.36%
Evraz (EVR) 53.10p -4.92%
Perform Group (PER) 255.00p -4.71%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 481.30p -4.22%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 326.80p -4.02%
Kentz Ltd. (KENZ) 710.50p -3.27%
ICAP (IAP) 392.50p -2.94%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 376.90p -2.86%
Man Group (EMG) 103.00p -2.83%
NMC Health (NMC) 520.00p -2.71%