- Chinese new credit falls in March, money supply slows down
- Corporate earnings/updates receive mixed reaction
- Economic data in focus later on
techMARK 2,645.66 +0.12%
FTSE 100 6,571.94 -0.18%
FTSE 250 15,761.41 +0.38%
UK stocks opened with small losses on Tuesday morning after yet more disappointing economic data from China and mixed reactions to a host of company announcements.
A measure of new credit in China declined by almost a fifth in March, while the growth in money supply slowed to its lowest rate since 2001, figures from the People's Bank of China showed today.
Aggreko, GKN and Michael Page International were all making gains early on after upbeat trading statements, while SABMiller, Diageo, Rio Tinto and Micro Focus all fell.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.2% lower at 6,572 within the opening hour of trade in London.
Chinese aggregate financing fell at an annual rate of 19% to 2.07trn yuan last month, from 2.55trn yuan the year before. Meanwhile, the year-on-year growth of money supply, or M2, slowed to 12.1%, down from 13.3% in February and under the 13% consensus forecast.
"Despite a surge in bank loans and relatively loose interbank liquidity conditions in March, today's data show that the credit slowdown is still on track," according to analysts at Capital Economics.
Economic data will be in focus today with a barrage of indicators due out from across the globe, including inflation figures in the UK and US, and the trade balance and ZEW economic sentiment numbers in the Eurozone.
Over in the US later, the first-quarter reporting season gets into full swing with results from Wall Street heavyweights Intel, Yahoo!, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson due out today. These follow Citigroup which impressed the market with its forecast-beating results on Monday.
Meanwhile, comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will be in focus as she speaks in Georgia later this evening.
Temporary power generator Aggreko was leading the risers this morning after it reported an "encouraging" start to the year with underlying revenues up 5% in the first three months.
Engineer GKN gained despite reporting mixed markets in the first quarter, with a thrusting commercial aerospace market making up for a military aerospace sector stuck in reverse gear.
Recruitment company Michael Page impressed with near-7% growth in gross profits in the first half, with all its four main region delivering year-on-year growth.
Drinks giant SABMiller underwhelmed by saying that full-year beer sales met expectations despite challenging conditions in its European markets. Fourth-quarter net producer revenue at the world's second biggest brewer grew by 2% and by 3% for the full-year.
Sector peer Diageo was also lower after offering £1.1bn to take a majority stake in Indian alcoholic beverages group United Spirits Limited (USL). The deal, which will lift its interest from 28.78% to 54.78%, values the stake at 38 times USL's operating profits.
Miner Rio Tinto fell despite saying it started the new financial year strongly with record first-quarter iron ore production and shipments, though production eased when compared with the end of last year.
Mining stocks on the whole were out of favour after the disappointing data from China, with Fresnillo and Randgold among the worst performers this morning.
Meanwhile, software group Micro Focus was in the red after announcing that it will separate the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer over the next two years.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aggreko (AGK) 1,568.00p +3.84%
GKN (GKN) 384.00p +2.67%
St James's Place (STJ) 773.00p +2.25%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,229.00p +1.82%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 377.80p +1.70%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,300.00p +1.64%
Royal Mail (RMG) 500.00p +1.63%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,939.00p +1.26%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 284.30p +1.14%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,446.00p +1.05%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
G4S (GFS) 240.80p -2.90%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,033.50p -2.90%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 320.80p -1.75%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,353.50p -1.60%
BT Group (BT.A) 352.20p -1.12%
Diageo (DGE) 1,895.50p -1.12%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 314.55p -1.05%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 201.80p -1.03%
Fresnillo (FRES) 924.00p -0.91%
Rexam (REX) 489.10p -0.89%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Debenhams (DEB) 82.20p +6.00%
Evraz (EVR) 90.10p +4.95%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,643.00p +3.77%
Computacenter (CCC) 663.00p +3.51%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 167.30p +3.34%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 839.50p +3.01%
BTG (BTG) 511.00p +2.92%
Michael Page International (MPI) 471.50p +2.75%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,037.00p +2.46%
Bellway (BWY) 1,579.00p +2.40%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Intu Properties (INTU) 280.50p -3.54%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,235.00p -2.22%
Polymetal International (POLY) 627.50p -2.11%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 143.00p -1.38%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 299.20p -1.35%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 145.00p -1.29%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 662.50p -0.97%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,399.00p -0.92%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,082.00p -0.92%
Drax Group (DRX) 731.00p -0.88%