- Stocks track heavy losses in US and Asia
- UK markets retreat from highest close since early March
- CRH rises despite rivals' merger, housebuilders fall
techMARK 2,741.16 -1.06%
FTSE 100 6,646.69 -0.73%
FTSE 250 16,282.85 -0.92%
UK stocks fell sharply on Monday morning as investors booked profits after markets hit a one-month high the previous session.
The FTSE 100 was trading 0.7% lower at 6,647 in early trading today. The index rose to 6,695.55 by the end of trade on Friday, closing at a level not seen since March 7th.
Markets across Europe were also declining today with the STOXX Europe 600 benchmark index retreating from its highest in six years.
Stocks were tracking a heavy sell-off on Wall Street the previous session and losses in Asia overnight in the aftermath of Friday's slightly worse-than-expected US employment report. Non-farm payrolls rose 192,000 in March; while upwards revisions were made to previous months, the headline figure missed the 200,000 forecast.
The falls on equity markets, in the US in particular, were attributed to weakness among the bull market's best performers as investors rotated out of so-called 'momentum' stocks.
"It would appear that a number of investors had been pricing in the prospect of a jobs number in excess of 200,000 as the week had progressed, ignoring the possibility that maybe the type of jobs rebound they had been hoping for might well be a bit premature," said Chief Market Analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets.
CRH gains, housing stocks fall
Some of the up until recently most high-flying Internet related stocks, such as Ocado or Asos, are seeing some pronounced falls in their share prices
this morning. That is much the same as the trading action seen over on the other side of the pond last Friday, where technology and internet stocks in particular registered large falls on Friday.
Irish building materials group CRH was making gains this morning despite the news that its two European rivals Lafarge and Holcim are to merge, creating a cement-making company with combined annual sales of €32bn.
Housebuilders Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Countrywide and Berkeley Group, however, were all trading in the red.
High end luxury brand Burberry was lower after Berenberg analysts downgraded their rating on the stock to 'hold' and cut their target price from 1,660p to 1,500p.
Supermarket groups WM Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco were trading more or less flat, outperforming the wider market. Tesco confirmed late on Friday that its Chief Financial Officer Laurie McIlwee would step down.
Meanwhile, engineering firm IMI was higher after an upgrade by Jefferies to 'buy'. Sector peer Kentz also rose after winning a large follow-on contract for work on a major liquid natural gas facility in Australia.
FTSE 100 - Risers
CRH (CRH) 1,792.00p +0.96%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,268.00p +0.32%
BG Group (BG.) 1,138.50p +0.22%
Tesco (TSCO) 287.55p +0.05%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 398.50p -2.78%
GKN (GKN) 395.00p -2.73%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,400.00p -2.51%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,313.00p -2.45%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 974.50p -2.16%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 434.00p -2.01%
St James's Place (STJ) 827.50p -2.01%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 452.70p -1.99%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,407.00p -1.88%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,222.00p -1.84%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Computacenter (CCC) 647.50p +1.97%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,624.00p +1.35%
IP Group (IPO) 211.70p +1.29%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 672.00p +1.28%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 766.50p +1.25%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 306.60p +1.05%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 110.40p +0.82%
Alent (ALNT) 317.40p +0.73%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 149.00p +0.68%
Genus (GNS) 991.00p +0.56%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
CSR (CSR) 661.00p -4.20%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 434.70p -3.87%
ITE Group (ITE) 196.80p -3.53%
Pace (PIC) 434.40p -3.47%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 207.40p -3.40%
BTG (BTG) 524.00p -3.14%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,477.00p -3.05%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,508.00p -2.83%
Countrywide (CWD) 634.50p -2.83%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 115.00p -2.54%