1630: Close The FTSE closed lower on Monday, partly as a result of a decline in equities across the Atlantic, and after Eurozone industrial production figures for November came in weaker than expected. Leading the fallers was Kazakhmys, which suffered a downgrade from Barclays. In other company news, Resolution benefitted from Credit Suisse upping its target price for the company from 250p to 265p, while Schroders was on the up after positive comments from JP Morgan Cazenove. Also of interest, sackings and suspensions of staff at financial institutions has reached its highest level in five years, according to the FSA. The FTSE closed down 14 at 6,108.
1617: The following is Cantor Capital's 'take' on the current juncture: "We can see how the FTSE has pushed through the 6,000 level and through the cluster of previous resistance levels. In the near term the price action does look vulnerable to some profit taking, but due to the strong trend from the 2011 lows, trading shorts would only be for the very active, rather we would recommended drilling down to the individual sectors and stocks to find a stock in a bear trend, and look to short that, rather than the index. So the index has posted an impressive start to 2012, some near term profit taking looks likely, buy on any such weakness." FTSE 100 down 8 to 6,114.
1612: Stocks have taken a knock from the lower opening on Wall Street, on the back of weakness in shares
of Apple. That follows a report in The Wall Street Journal that the company's first quarter orders of iPhone screens have been reduced almost by half. Other market commentary today is highlighting the threat to incumbents in that space arising from open-source operating systems. FTSE 100 down 6 to 6,116.
1513: Shares of Bumi are holding above technical resistance at the 300p mark despite news that the company's Chairman and the Bakrie family will fight Rothschild's bid to change the board.
1512: Barclays will cut its bonus pay-outs. Investment bank pay will fall by 10 per cent to 20 per cent on average, Reuters reports. This announcement comes roughly one month before the lender's annual Strategy update, which some observers are now looking out towards.
1501: GKN is higher, building on strength in the European automobile sector, as measured by the DJ Stoxx 600. Tate&Lyle is the object of positive comments out of Deutsche Bank this morning regarding the sustainability of its dividend payout (unlike Unilever the broker says). In fact, there is room for a positive surprise.
1329: Shares of Imagination are now the worst performing within the FTSE 350, and on heavier than usual trading volumes, after Goldman Sachs said Samsung is employing competing technology in its new smartphones. The broker has also taken the stock out of its Conviction Buy list, citing the risks of market share loss and higher spending requirements so as to stay competitive. FTSE 100 down 3 to 6,119.
1321: A group of companies including Petrofac submitted the lowest bid for a contract to develop an oil field off the coast of Abu Dhabi for Zakum Development Co., Middle East Economic Digest reported on its website citing unidentified people close to the process, according to Bloomberg.
1243: In a note out today on the global luxury goods sector Deutsche Bank analysts raise their price target on Burberry to 1,350p from 1,275p. This is a part of what they say: "We have been advocating for a long time that luxury is a structural outperformer. The combination of a structural growth story driven by wealth creation and middle-class opportunities in new geographies, and the industry's intrinsic strengths, support superior earnings growth. This explains why the sector has delivered top-line growth of 11 per cent and EPS growth of 16 per cent in 2012 despite all the macro headwinds." Marks&Spencer is seeing some follow through selling from last week despite some positive coverage in the press. FTSE 100 up 4 to 6,125.
1127: OECD monthly index of leading economic indicators shows UK growth firming. As an aside, and according to Oilandgaspeople.com's, this year could see a 'boom' in off-shore jobs as exploration in the North Sea continues to grow, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports.
1009: Analysts at UBS have lowered their price target on shares of Aggreko to 2,250p from 2,350, while Nomura has downgraded Associated British Foods to neutral from buy. Credit Suisse has shaved its target for Tullow down to 1,450p from 1,480p before. Angle is advancing by more than 90 per cent Monday after the medtech company announced a major breakthrough in its cancer diagnostic product Parsotix. Centamin is higher again and leading gains on the FTSE 250. FTSE 100 up 8 to 6,130.
1000: JP Morgan has today upped its price target on Schroders, explaining that: "For the vast majority of investors in the asset management sector, 2012 was a very profitable year . . . Despite the strength of performance, the rating of the sector remains relatively modest by historical standards, especially if we further adjust for estimated surplus cash and cash generation in the current year." Barclays has downgraded Sage to underweight from equalweight. Petrofac and Ruspetro have been added to the most preferred oil list at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
0836: Analysts at Credit Suisse have today raised their price target on ENRC to 400p (from 350p), and mover to an outperform rating, versus neutral before. "Our cautious stance in the second half of 2012 was due to concerns over earnings, balance sheet and mergers&acquisitions (M&A). We think downside risks are now limited with potential re-rating catalysts in 2013. Importantly, the company's acquisition run has finally ended and could kick into reverse with small divestments in 2013/2014 in our view," they explain. The Swiss broker has also upgraded G4S to outperform and reinstated coverage of Vedanta with an outperform rating and a 1,500p target. FTSE 100 down 2 to 6,120.
0832: A motley group of financial and resource stocks are now leading gains on the top share index, led by Petrofac and Vedanta. For its part, BP is seeking a reduction of 17 per cent in the amount of oil that will be used to calculate Clean Water Act penalties for its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Home builder Taylor Wimpey is registering modest gains after announcing that it expects its 2012 full year profits to come in towards the upper end of its own expectations. Acting as a backdrop, over the weekend there has been a fair bit of market chatter regarding the likelihood of weaker Sterling in 2013, with the euro/Sterling cross the second worst performer so far this year according to Bloomberg.