- Sentiment dampened by Microsoft and Google
- EU summit in focus
- Aggreko, Bunzl and financials provide a drag
Worse-than-expected results from some US blue chips and the EU summit were in the spotlight on Friday morning, keeping UK stocks flat early on.
"European equities are trading lower this morning pressured by weak US tech earnings where Microsoft and also internet search engine powerhouse Google both missed expectations by a wide margin," said Markus Huber, the head of German HNW Trading at ETX Capital.
He also said that '"there haven't been many new revelations coming out of Brussels so far where currently a two-day EU summit is being held."
European leaders announced that they would set up a Eurozone bank supervisor run by the European Central Bank (ECB) by the end of the year. "We have a date in place now for the legislative framework, which we didn't have before - and that in itself is an important step forward," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
FTSE 100: Aggreko sinks after giving mixed guidance
Temporary power and temperature control group Aggreko got an Olympics revenue boost in the third quarter, but guidance for the full year was mixed, with some parts of the business performing better and worse than expectations and currency movements likely to have a negative impact on the bottom line. Shares sunk nearly 7% in the opening hour.
Distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl was a heavy faller after the third quarter saw a moderation in the underlying revenue growth rate, particularly in North America, where the company is going up against tough comparatives.
Barclays continues to trade lower after announcing last night that it has set aside a further £700m in provisions against the possible costs associated with compensating customers for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), taking it total provisions to £2bn.
Financial peers Standard Life and Lloyds were also out of favour in early trading: the former was hit by a downgrade from Berenberg to 'sell'; with the latter was weighed down by a ratings cut from JPMorgan Cazenove to 'underweight'.
Oilfield support services Petrofac gained after saying that it is experiencing high levels of bidding activity, which should see its backlog pile up over the coming months.
FTSE 250: Spectris jumps after 'resilient' performance
Specris saw a robust performance in the final quarter of its financial year and while like-for-like (LFL) sales growth had slowed from the first half, analysts said that this was as expected. The instrumentation and controls company said that reported sales during the last quarter were up 12%.
High flying small loans specialist Provident Financial was in the red despite saying its Vanquis Bank credit card division continued to trade ahead of expectations in the third quarter.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,192.00p +1.02%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,309.00p +0.96%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,219.00p +0.77%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 871.00p +0.69%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 812.00p +0.56%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,333.00p +0.56%
Prudential (PRU) 867.50p +0.52%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,166.00p +0.51%
Diageo (DGE) 1,764.50p +0.46%
Compass Group (CPG) 689.00p +0.44%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Aggreko (AGK) 2,150.00p -6.60%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,047.00p -3.23%
ITV (ITV) 90.10p -1.74%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 41.31p -1.34%
Barclays (BARC) 238.65p -0.85%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 269.20p -0.81%
BT Group (BT.A) 221.60p -0.81%
Capita (CPI) 730.00p -0.61%
GKN (GKN) 212.70p -0.61%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,525.00p -0.59%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Spectris (SXS) 1,763.00p +10.60%
Bumi (BUMI) 256.40p +4.61%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 277.80p +2.89%
Grainger (GRI) 110.10p +2.42%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 116.00p +2.29%
Savills (SVS) 410.50p +1.99%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 133.60p +1.91%
PayPoint (PAY) 763.00p +1.73%
Devro (DVO) 341.70p +1.70%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 181.70p +1.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Redrow (RDW) 152.00p -6.46%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,860.00p -2.72%
Drax Group (DRX) 536.00p -2.55%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 498.20p -2.03%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 607.00p -1.78%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 556.50p -1.77%
Greggs (GRG) 478.10p -1.54%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 175.10p -1.52%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 1,340.00p -1.47%
Chemring Group (CHG) 348.60p -1.33%