- Stock slip after strong gains yesterday
- Upbeat Beige Book leads to another record for the Dow
- ITV surges on Liberty Global M&A hopes
techMARK 2,795.17 -0.44%
FTSE 100 6,769.28 -0.23%
FTSE 250 15,542.03 -0.37%
London's FTSE 100 slipped on Thursday morning, retreating after a big jump the previous session which sent the index to its highest levels in over a week.
Data showing a pick-up in economic growth in China gave global stock markets a boost on Wednesday, helping the Dow Jones Industrial Average to notch its 15th record close of the year so far.
Sentiment was also helped by an upbeat assessment of the US economy by the Federal Reserve in its latest Beige Book survey. The Fed reported an expansion in activity across all districts, raising hopes for a rebound in growth in the second quarter after a soft first quarter.
However, the Footsie was down 0.2% at 6,769 in early trading today after rising 1.1% to 6,784.67 yesterday, its highest close since July 7th.
Today, the mood has been dampened "with investors focussing back on the latest announcement of new US and EU mandated sanctions against Russia over their role in the unrest in the Ukraine, as tensions rise once again between the various governments", said Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK.
Economic data will also be closely watched, with the final reading of Eurozone inflation for June on tap, along with housing-market figures and jobless claims in the US.
ITV jumps as Liberty Global buys stake
British Sky Broadcasting, which is currently considering a giant European consolidation with acquisitions of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, has sold shares
in UK rival ITV for £481m, prompting shares in the latter to jump this morning. Sky has disposed of a 6.4% stake in ITV to US-based Liberty Global.
"While Liberty Global says this is purely an 'opportunistic investment' and it is not planning to make an offer for the whole company, and shares are now off their early reaction highs of the day, subsequent speculation of a forthcoming bid could well help the shares back to near recent all-time highs of 211p," said Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets.
Land Securities rose after hailing a solid start to the year, with strong leasing momentum in office buildings and a continuing shift in retail property portfolio towards "dominance, experience and convenience".
Sportswear retailer Sports Direct beat consensus estimates with a 15% jump in annual underlying operating profits. However, the stock sank into the red as the company said that recent strong trading was offset by England's disappointing performance at the World Cup.
Electricity generator and retailer SSE forecast higher earnings in 2014/15 but shares slipped as it warned that it would be harder to lift profits again the year after.
Meggitt, the aircraft components group which surged yesterday on the back of M&A speculation, pulled back slightly this morning. Meanwhile, beverage cans maker Rexam was hit with a downgrade by Deutsche Bank to 'neutral'.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 195.90p +6.58%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,679.00p +1.86%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,041.00p +1.26%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,210.00p +0.83%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 898.50p +0.73%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,532.00p +0.67%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 939.00p +0.54%
British Land Co (BLND) 707.50p +0.50%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,432.00p +0.48%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,807.00p +0.44%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rexam (REX) 520.00p -3.08%
Meggitt (MGGT) 527.50p -1.77%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 335.60p -1.58%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,144.00p -1.55%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 702.50p -1.54%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 841.00p -1.41%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,543.50p -1.31%
SSE (SSE) 1,525.00p -1.17%
Barclays (BARC) 213.50p -1.16%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,342.00p -1.11%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 508.00p +1.60%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 142.50p +1.35%
NMC Health (NMC) 461.10p +1.34%
Debenhams (DEB) 64.65p +1.33%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 177.70p +1.31%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,708.00p +1.01%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 70.70p +1.00%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 96.90p +0.99%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 204.60p +0.99%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 1,309.00p +0.93%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 98.05p -4.43%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 310.00p -3.06%
Exova Group (EXO) 232.70p -2.68%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 270.40p -2.03%
Northgate (NTG) 501.00p -1.86%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 367.00p -1.77%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 83.25p -1.71%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 385.90p -1.66%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,225.00p -1.61%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,101.00p -1.61%