- Footsie steady in early trading
- US and allies warn Russia of possible further sanctions
- More US housing data due out
techMARK 2,761.98 +0.15%
FTSE 100 6,843.95 +0.04%
FTSE 250 15,655.31 +0.25%
Equities were slightly higher early on following yesterday's sharp falls worldwide in reaction to weak data on growth in the Eurozone's gross domestic product and the US housing market.
In that regard, it may be worth pointing out that there is further data scheduled for release on Friday afternoon on the state of the US housing market. According to some market commentary investors are increasingly worried by the possibility of deflation in the Eurozone.
Acting as a backdrop, speaking overnight and following conversations with his counterparts from Britain, Italy, France and Germany, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated that "If Russia or its proxies disrupt the elections [the US and its allies] will impose sectoral economic sanctions as a result".
That came as Ukrainian forces successfully undertook operations against two militant bases near the towns of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.
"A somewhat quiet end to the week is expected today, as the European markets take a breather following yesterday's GDP and CPI fuelled roller-coaster," Alpari UK Research Analyst Joshua Mahaony noted this morning.
Meanwhile, concerns about global growth weighed down sentiment in Asia, giving a mixed picture at the close.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei-225 closed 1.41% lower at 14,096.59, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange's main gauge edged higher by 0.1% to reach 2,026.5.
"European futures are signalling a flat open as aversion to risk continues, shifting investors to the sidelines," Lee Mumford at Spreadex said.
The dollar/yen currency pair, a widely followed barometer of risk aversion, was dipping by 0.02% as of 08:58, at the 101.56 yen level.
Intertek falls after taking hit from currency fluctuations
In UK company news, Intertek reported a 0.3 per cent rise in quarterly organic revenue as operating margins improved as a result of on-going restructuring measures. However, total revenues declined by 4.9% during the first quarter as a result of the appreciation in sterling. The inspection, product testing and certification company said it experienced strong performance of its key product-related business but weaker-than-expected activity in the energy market in the three months to the end of April 2014.
Supermarket operators Morrison and Sainsbury were seeing some buying interest for a second day. In related sector news, John Lewis reported a 15.6% year-on-year increase in its sales for the week ending on May 10th.
Coca-Cola HBC reported a drop in first quarter revenue and volumes due to the timing of Easter and foreign exchange
movements. The second largest bottler of the brands of The Coca-Cola Company said volume declined by 4% to 409.6m cases in the three months to March 28th and new sales revenue fell 7% to £1.3bn.
Keller Group reported that its overall trading in the four months to the end of April was in line with expectations in March. Although the Europe, Middle East and Africa region was behind, it said this was countered by a strong performance from its businesses in the US, with Asia and Australia on track. As such, its results for the full year remain in line with current market expectations.
Oil engineering group Lamprell has started the year well and is encouraged by the ongoing dialogue with a number of prospective clients for new projects and the recent $390m contract win with Ensco. In parallel, the firm has announced that it will pursue a rights issue with the aim of raising gross proceeds of £71.6m.
Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas upgraded their view on shares
of Dixon's Retail to 'outperform' from 'neutral'.
Morgan Stanley downgraded Evraz to 'equalweight' from 'overweight'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 208.20p +1.46%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 337.40p +1.38%
CRH (CRH) 1,618.00p +1.06%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,774.50p +1.02%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,032.00p +0.88%
ITV (ITV) 171.00p +0.83%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,234.00p +0.82%
William Hill (WMH) 339.00p +0.77%
IMI (IMI) 1,599.00p +0.76%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,426.00p +0.71%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,986.00p -3.37%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,319.00p -1.48%
Fresnillo (FRES) 850.00p -1.22%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 857.50p -0.98%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,593.50p -0.90%
National Grid (NG.) 856.00p -0.87%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,333.00p -0.82%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,966.00p -0.81%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 355.20p -0.73%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 73.25p -0.69%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Perform Group (PER) 263.90p +3.05%
SIG (SHI) 184.40p +3.02%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,318.00p +2.84%
Britvic (BVIC) 719.00p +2.71%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 990.00p +2.48%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 291.30p +2.46%
Grainger (GRI) 219.40p +2.05%
Countrywide (CWD) 551.00p +2.04%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,724.00p +2.01%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 302.50p +1.85%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Inmarsat (ISAT) 689.00p -3.03%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 122.00p -2.63%
Evraz (EVR) 100.40p -1.86%
Keller Group (KLR) 931.50p -1.38%
Pace (PIC) 355.20p -1.33%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 95.85p -1.24%
Laird (LRD) 286.30p -1.21%
Regus (RGU) 188.90p -1.10%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 245.30p -1.09%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 146.80p -1.08%