- Mining stocks provide a drag on iron ore price decline
- Fenner plummets after profit warning
- Economic data comes in mixed
techMARK 2,810.65 +0.04%
FTSE 100 6,858.36 -0.19%
FTSE 250 15,975.00 +0.13%
UK stocks slipped on Friday morning, pulling back from a two-week high after three straight days of gains, with the heavyweight mining sector providing a drag in London.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,858.36 after hitting 6,871.29 on Thursday, its highest close since May 14th when it reached a new 14-year high of 6,887.49.
Mining stocks were trading firmly in the red early on as iron ore prices were headed for their sixth consecutive monthly decline, the longest losing streak on record.
Ahead of the open, Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK, said that markets across Europe were likely to open mixed as traders turn cautious after another record close for the S&P 500
in the US last night.
"Trading has been a bit muted this week as traders are sitting on their hands in anticipation of the expected announcement of monetary easing from the European Central Bank next week," he said.
Meanwhile, investors were also focusing on a batch of mixed economic data from across the globe, including an improvement in consumer confidence in the UK, weak industrial production figures and stronger-than-expected inflation in Japan, and an unexpected dip in retail sales in Germany.
Miners weigh on markets, Fenner plummets
Rising iron ore supplies from Australia and Brazil have prompted a 9% fall in prices this month, with the value of the commodity having now fallen every month since December. This is the longest string of monthly losses since data from The Steel Index Ltd began in November 2008, according to Bloomberg.
Diversified miners Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were among the worst performers on the FTSE 100.
In another hit to sentiment in the mining industry, polymer products group Fenner, which makes conveyor belts for resource companies, issued a profit warning this morning. The group said annual profits would be 10-15% below market expectations on the back of weakness in the US coal industry, causing shares
to sink sharply.
Meanwhile, solid fuel supplier and logistics group Hargreaves Services also fell after saying results from its Production Division will be below expectations this year due "challenging trading conditions" in coke markets and delays.
GlaxoSmithKline edged higher on rumours that it has approached a number of private equity firms to gauge the interest for a range of its older drugs as it attempts to refresh its portfolio. According to various reports, the pharmaceutical group has contacted companies including Advent International, Blackstone and KKR regarding a £7.5bn portfolio of mature products.
AIM-listed oil explorer Petroceltic was trading lower after giving investors a trio of "disappointing" updates from its international drilling programme.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,446.00p +1.26%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,189.00p +1.23%
Schroders (SDR) 2,647.00p +1.19%
ITV (ITV) 186.10p +1.03%
Sage Group (SGE) 415.60p +0.92%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 799.50p +0.82%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,049.00p +0.79%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,955.00p +0.72%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 956.00p +0.58%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,035.00p +0.58%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,493.00p -3.37%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,108.00p -2.52%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,906.00p -1.78%
Fresnillo (FRES) 820.50p -1.74%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 198.90p -1.63%
Glencore (GLEN) 323.75p -1.37%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,437.00p -1.22%
Kingfisher (KGF) 393.00p -1.01%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 877.50p -0.96%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 311.30p -0.92%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Henderson Group (HGG) 252.20p +2.69%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 423.60p +2.15%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd Ptg NPV (GSS) 538.00p +2.09%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 380.10p +2.04%
CSR (CSR) 588.00p +1.91%
Afren (AFR) 151.90p +1.67%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 210.00p +1.45%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 130.10p +1.40%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 404.20p +1.38%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 118.90p +1.36%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Fenner (FENR) 339.90p -12.78%
Evraz (EVR) 106.90p -2.11%
Redefine International (RDI) 55.00p -1.96%
Grafton Group Units (GFTU) 565.50p -1.74%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 689.50p -1.71%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 382.80p -1.54%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,111.00p -1.42%
Booker Group (BOK) 141.20p -1.19%
Lonmin (LMI) 259.70p -1.18%
UBM (UBM) 674.50p -1.17%