- FTSE 100 pulls back from two-week high
- Babcock drops after acquisition, Tullow disappoints
- Utilities fall after Ofgem report
- UK and US data on tap today
techMARK 2,770.54 -0.44%
FTSE 100 6,567.22 -0.58%
FTSE 250 16,203.40 -0.30%
Falls from Babcock, Tullow Oil and utility stocks were weighing on UK markets on Thursday morning as the FTSE 100 pulled back from a two-week high.
The Footsie was 0.6% lower at 6,567 in early trading. London's benchmark index inched higher to close at 6,605.3 on Wednesday, its highest finish since March 12th.
UK stocks were tracking losses on Wall Street overnight after President Barack Obama denounced Russia's actions in Crimea. Speaking in Brussels, Obama warned that the US would impose "more sanctions" on Russia if it continues to escalate the crisis in Ukraine following last week's annexation of Crimea.
"If Russia stays on its current course the costs for the Russian economy will continue to grow," he said.
Heavy falls from Facebook and a disappointing stock market debut from King Digital Entertainment also dampened sentiment in New York, along with data which showed that spending on US business investment fell for the fourth time in six months.
Investors were also showing caution ahead of a string of economic data today, including retail sales figures in the UK, and jobless claims, economic growth and new home sales in the US.
Babcock, Tullow, utilities
Engineering group Babcock was a heavy faller this morning after agreeing to buy helicopter services provider Avincis for £920m. The company, which will also assume Avincis' net debt of £705m through a new debt facility of its own, will fund the purchase with a £1.1bn rights issue and will need to put the acquisition to shareholders at a general meeting.
Oil explorer Tullow also fell after a drilling update on its blocks onshore Kenya as it revealed that exploration wells Emong-1 and Etuko-2 were unsuccessful.
Utility peers SSE and Centrica were lower after UK energy regulator Ofgem referred the 'big six' energy companies for a full-scale competition investigation that could see them broken up.
The heavyweight mining sector was also out of favour this morning as stocks tracked metal prices lower. Antofagasta, Fresnillo and Anglo American were among the worst performers.
Glencore Xstrata was also being weighed down by a ratings cut by Jefferies from 'buy' to 'hold'. The broker said the downgrade was "in light of poor seaborne coal fundamentals".
FTSE 100 - Risers
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,241.00p +0.31%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 88.05p +0.28%
Experian (EXPN) 1,076.00p +0.19%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,840.00p +0.18%
WPP (WPP) 1,204.00p +0.17%
BG Group (BG.) 1,105.00p +0.14%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 917.00p +0.11%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 297.80p +0.07%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,431.00p +0.04%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,303.00p -4.61%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 750.50p -3.41%
SSE (SSE) 1,483.00p -2.31%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,484.00p -2.30%
Fresnillo (FRES) 856.00p -1.89%
Standard Life (SL.) 392.60p -1.85%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,401.00p -1.68%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,464.50p -1.65%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 820.50p -1.62%
Group (VOD) 219.70p -1.55%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Computacenter (CCC) 656.00p +2.50%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 318.60p +2.12%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 170.50p +2.03%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 281.10p +1.41%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 669.00p +1.29%
WH Smith (SMWH) 1,195.00p +1.19%
International Public Ltd. (INPP) 129.10p +1.18%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 568.50p +1.16%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 256.00p +1.07%
F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd. (FCPT) 117.80p +1.03%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 66.80p -3.47%
IP Group (IPO) 205.80p -2.74%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 131.10p -2.16%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 535.00p -2.01%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 243.30p -2.01%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 147.40p -1.93%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 51.35p -1.82%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 67.85p -1.67%
Genus (GNS) 983.50p -1.65%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 606.50p -1.62%