- Kingfisher, Easyjet, Unilever disappoint with earnings
- Markets still cautious on Ukraine crisis
- Economic data on tap, Chinese indicator improves
techMARK 2,813.29 -0.36%
FTSE 100 6,780.77 -0.26%
FTSE 250 15,695.97 -0.19%
UK stocks declined on Thursday as a negative reaction to results from Kingfisher, Easyjet and Unilever weighed on markets.
After rising to its highest level in over two weeks, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 6,781 in early trading. The index had settled at 6,798.15 on Wednesday, its highest close since July 7th.
Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer from Capital Spreads, said that despite positive data from China overnight "sentiment still remains cautious" with the possibility of tougher economic sanctions on Russia.
The European Commission meets today to discuss new potential measures on Russia. According to a proposal seen by the Financial Times, new sanctions could include the banning of all Europeans from purchasing new debt or stock issued by Russia's largest banks.
Sudaria said: "Expectations are that they will stay true to form and do nothing; but there is always the possibility that international pressure may spur some surprise action with some teeth so traders remain cautious."
After a relatively quiet start to the week in terms of economic data, investors will have plenty to digest today, including manufacturing purchasing managers' indices (PMI) from the Eurozone, UK retail sales, and housing and jobless claims figures from the US later on.
Overnight, the HSBC China manufacturing PMI for July improved from 50.7 to 52, showing that growth had picked up faster than analysts' expectations (forecast: 51).
Kingfisher, Easyjet, Unilever disappoint
After a strong start to the year, DIY retailer Kingfisher's like-for-like sales reversed into the red in the second quarter with trading "slower than anticipated", leading the stock to sink nearly 7% early on.
Budget airline Easyjet underwhelmed after confirming its full-year profit will rise at least 14%, in line with City forecasts. That came after it posted an 8.6% rise in third quarter revenue to £1,240m, driven by higher passenger numbers, an improved load factor and the timing of Easter.
Consumer goods company Unilever also fell as it reported a lower-than-expected increase in second-quarter sales, blaming a deterioration in emerging markets and flat developed markets.
Reed Elsevier was a bright spark after reporting that underlying trends remain strong, enabling the business publishing and information company to drive a 5% improvement in profits in the first half and complete two thirds of the £600m of share buybacks planned for the year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Reed Elsevier (REL) 958.50p +2.08%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 847.00p +1.56%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 612.50p +0.86%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,931.00p +0.57%
Barclays (BARC) 212.15p +0.57%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 325.40p +0.56%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,037.00p +0.50%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 236.60p +0.25%
IMI (IMI) 1,447.00p +0.21%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,061.00p +0.19%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Kingfisher (KGF) 312.60p -6.96%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,346.00p -4.06%
CRH (CRH) 1,424.00p -2.40%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,020.00p -1.76%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 865.00p -1.76%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,641.00p -1.57%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,180.00p -1.42%
Fresnillo (FRES) 927.50p -1.38%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 699.00p -1.34%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,608.00p -1.23%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 325.00p +4.30%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 630.00p +4.05%
Inchcape (INCH) 661.00p +3.69%
Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate (KWE) 1,089.00p +1.59%
Xaar (XAR) 579.00p +1.49%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,370.00p +1.41%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,988.00p +1.17%
NMC Health (NMC) 463.50p +1.09%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,179.00p +1.07%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 106.80p +0.95%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Electrocomponents (ECM) 244.10p -5.46%
Drax Group (DRX) 685.00p -3.52%
CSR (CSR) 567.50p -2.66%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,759.00p -2.33%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 136.00p -2.23%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 120.10p -1.80%
William Hill (WMH) 347.80p -1.78%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 338.70p -1.77%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 651.00p -1.74%
Polymetal International (POLY) 540.00p -1.73%