- Stocks snap six-day winning streak
- Tate & Lyle, Rolls-Royce, Lloyds and Rio fall after updates
- AMEC, Imperial rise
techMARK 2,817.35 -0.49%
FTSE 100 6,649.80 -0.38%
FTSE 250 15,999.35 -0.50%
UK stocks opened with moderate losses on Thursday after poorly-received results and updates from a number of blue chips, including Tate & Lyle, Rolls-Royce, Lloyds Banking Group and Rio Tinto.
The FTSE 100 snapped a six-day winning streak, falling 0.4% to 6,650 early on, as it pulled back from 6,675.03 on Wednesday - its best closing level since January 23rd.
Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said that this comes after a "very good February so far" across European equity markets. This morning's falls are "just a small correction on the path back to highs we were trading around in the middle of January".
The lower start followed weakness on Asian and US markets overnight as investors continued to react to comments from Federal Reserve policymakers. One day after Janet Yellen's first testimony as Fed Chair on monetary policy, St Louis Fed President James Bullard said he was "optimistic" about US growth this year and that the Fed could return to more "traditional" monetary policy given the recent drop in the unemployment rate.
Closer to home, the Bank of England's Chief Economist Spencer Dale said that expectations for a rate hike in 2015 are "reasonable". This follows the central bank's Inflation Report yesterday, in which Governor Mark Carney completely revamped his forward guidance plan.
Tate & Lyle, Rolls-Royce, Lloyds and Rio provide a drag
Food and sweetener company Tate & Lyle sank sharply despite a third-quarter update that said it expects full-year profits to be broadly in line with the previous year, as Sucralose pricing pressures intensified. The company said that Sucralose prices in the next financial year will be down 15%.
Aerospace and defence group Rolls-Royce also dropped after revealing that 2014 revenue and profit is expected to be flat due to cuts in government defence spending, implying a reduction to current consensus forecasts.
Defence groups Meggit and BAE Systems were also lower after the statement.
Banking group Lloyds fell despite swinging to a statutory profit before tax of £415m during 2013, from a loss of £606m the year before. Chief Executive António Horta-Osório said that the results "confirmed that the group is returning to robust health", however analysts said that tangible net asset value for the year was below expectations.
Mining stocks were largely out of favour as metals prices declined. Rio Tinto was among the worst performers after underwhelming with a 10% increase in underlying earnings in 2013 and a 15% rise in the dividend.
Aberdeen was in the red after the asset manager was downgraded form 'hold' to 'underperform' by Jefferies.
UK oil and gas engineer AMEC was among the few risers this morning after an in-line 2013 report, in which adjusted earnings per share rose 11% despite a 3% dip in revenues. The company also announced a firm offer for Swiss rival Foster Wheeler.
Imperial Tobacco edged higher after first-quarter underlying tobacco net revenue rose 1% to £1.56bn, helped by its key Growth Brands.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,282.00p +2.56%
Amec (AMEC) 1,111.00p +1.74%
Kingfisher (KGF) 383.70p +1.11%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,024.50p +0.98%
SSE (SSE) 1,370.00p +0.74%
Centrica (CNA) 316.60p +0.70%
Royal Mail (RMG) 600.00p +0.67%
Rexam (REX) 511.00p +0.59%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,601.00p +0.57%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,155.00p +0.45%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 665.00p -15.45%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,072.00p -11.40%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 406.10p -5.03%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 80.18p -4.01%
BAE Systems (BA.) 425.60p -3.16%
Meggitt (MGGT) 523.00p -1.78%
William Hill (WMH) 348.00p -1.50%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 781.00p -1.45%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 916.00p -1.24%
Barclays (BARC) 257.25p -1.23%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 340.20p +4.20%
IP Group (IPO) 192.80p +3.10%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 317.50p +1.63%
Rank Group (RNK) 142.50p +1.50%
Rotork (ROR) 2,548.00p +1.11%
BH Macro Ltd. EUR Shares (BHME) € 19.20 +1.05%
RPC Group (RPC) 600.50p +1.01%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 368.30p +0.96%
Perform Group (PER) 217.00p +0.93%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.69 +0.86%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 717.50p -4.97%
Telecity Group (TCY) 637.00p -3.48%
Drax Group (DRX) 774.00p -2.70%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 174.50p -2.68%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 147.30p -2.58%
Cranswick (CWK) 1,270.00p -2.46%
Lonmin (LMI) 321.00p -2.46%
Polymetal International (POLY) 627.00p -2.34%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,477.00p -2.19%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,328.00p -2.18%