- FTSE 100 pulls back after nearing record
- BoE in focus ahead of inflation report
- UK employment data due out
- Compass unveils 1bn-pound cash return
techMARK 2,798.34 -0.21%
FTSE 100 6,857.97 -0.22%
FTSE 250 16,046.94 +0.05%
UK stocks declined on Wednesday morning as investors took profits after markets closed at a 14-year high the previous session.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,858 in early trading after hitting 6,873.08 on Tuesday, its best finish since reaching a record closing high of 6,930 at the end of December 1999.
"Whilst the markets have demonstrated a remarkable ability to shrug off the crisis in the Ukraine and interpret weak China data as a positive, there is a sense of foreboding about this upward move," said Jonathan Sudaria, a dealer at Capital Spreads.
The Bank of England (BoE) is due to release new inflation and growth forecasts later today as the central bank comes under pressure to raise interest rates amid soaring house prices.
The BoE has vowed to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for an extended period but fears of a housing bubble have raised questions on whether the bank will move sooner to lift rates.
Ahead of the interest rate report at 10:30, data is expected to show the unemployment rate fell again to 6.8% in the three months to March from 6.9% in the preceding three months.
Employers during the period are projected to have added 248,000 new jobs, compared to 239,000 the previous quarter.
Compass jumps after special dividend
Catering giant Compass rose strongly this morning as the company hiked its interim dividend after a solid first half and unveiled a £1bn capital return to investors. "Strong cash generation has underpinned our investment in the business and our commitment to reward shareholders," said Chief Executive Richard Cousins.
Paper and packaging group Mondi was also higher after delivering a 13% increase in underlying operating profits in the first quarter despite a "mixed" trading environment and flat sales volumes.
Mining stocks were trading slightly lower this morning as sentiment in the industry was dampened by the news that over 200 people have been killed after an electrical fault at a mine triggered an explosion in western Turkey. Randgold Resources was a notable faller this morning.
UK car insurer Admiral declined after reporting a 7% drop in first-quarter revenue as premiums continued to fall.
Television network ITV underwhelmed with in-line ad revenues in the first quarter. However, the second quarter looks to beat expectations thanks to a spike in World Cup-related ads.
Healthcare services provider UDG Healthcare impressed as it raised its full-year profit guidance, helped by a decent first half and the recent acquisition of the KnowledgePoint360 business.
A number of heavyweight stocks were trading lower this morning after going ex-dividend, including Aberdeen Asset Management, Sage, GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, Glencore Xstrata, Kingfisher and J Sainsbury.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Compass Group (CPG) 1,029.00p +4.95%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,054.00p +2.23%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,710.00p +1.73%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,235.00p +1.48%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 486.60p +0.72%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,670.00p +0.72%
Experian (EXPN) 1,072.00p +0.66%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 840.00p +0.66%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,248.00p +0.65%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 221.25p +0.64%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ITV (ITV) 181.90p -4.76%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 325.80p -3.89%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 324.20p -1.95%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,508.00p -1.81%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 428.00p -1.72%
Kingfisher (KGF) 410.90p -1.58%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,617.00p -1.22%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,556.50p -1.16%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,433.00p -1.04%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,346.50p -0.99%
FTSE 250 - Risers
3i Group (III) 393.60p +4.04%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 128.00p +3.06%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 792.50p +2.99%
Galliford Try (GFRD) 1,215.00p +2.71%
Booker Group (BOK) 154.10p +2.46%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 368.00p +2.22%
Senior (SNR) 293.70p +1.98%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,735.00p +1.88%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,143.00p +1.60%
Kentz Corporation Ltd. (KENZ) 720.50p +1.55%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Renishaw (RSW) 1,760.00p -4.30%
Carillion (CLLN) 355.00p -3.32%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 603.50p -2.35%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,294.00p -2.17%
Perform Group (PER) 260.00p -1.89%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,089.00p -1.89%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,130.00p -1.74%
Pace (PIC) 378.90p -1.71%
Rank Group (RNK) 161.80p -1.64%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 719.00p -1.64%