LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630: The blue chip index finished 63 points lower at 5,451 today, close to its worst levels of the day as caution was shown by investors ahead of this weeks crucial EU summit. Risk aversion hit the miners hard in London with Evraz, Kazakhmys, ENRC and Rio Tinto suffering steep losses - Rio Tinto dropped despite announcing that it has begun shipping coal out of Mozambique. Bucking the sector trend was precious metals group Polymetal International after Nomura upgraded the stock by two notches from 'reduce' to 'buy'. Gold peers Centamin and Petropavlovsk performed well on the FTSE 250. Shire finished the day as the worst performer on the FTSE 350, falling by over 11 per cent, after the FDA approved a rivals application to make a generic version of its Adderall XR drug.
1552: The Footsie has dropped to 5,447, down 67 points on the day (equal to a 1.2 per cent dip) after US benchmarks tanked after the open in New York. The Dow is trading 1.2 per cent lower, the Nasdaq dropped 1.8 per cent and the S and P 500 is down 1.6 per cent, despite US new home sales jumping to a two-year high last month, according to data just out from the Commerce Department. US markets are also showing caution ahead of a ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obamas healthcare reform plan.
1412: The Footsie is trading close to its intraday lows, down 39 points at 5,475, ahead of the opening bell in New York with US stock futures pointing to a sharp fall on Wall Street. Shire is still the worst performer on the blue chip index in London by a long way, trading 12.5 per cent lower at 1,720p, after it announced a rival had been given permission to make a generic version of its blockbuster treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Adderall XR. Panmure Gordon this morning slashed its Adderall XR sales forecasts by 6.3 per cent, 7.2 per cent and 7.3 per cent in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The broker cut its target price from 1,780p to 1,700p and reiterated its sell rating.
1227: UK equities are now bouncing back from the day´s lows and slightly outperforming their Eurozone peers. That despite a report out from Standard&Poor´s regarding the poor macroeconomic outlook for the UK in the short-term. Also worth pointing out, remarks from Bank of England policy-maker (and well-known dove), David Miles, in the Financial Times, asking for another installment of £50bn in quantitative easing. Back in the equity space, Morrisons can now be seen near the bottom of the pile in the Footsie after announcing that its Finance Director will leave the company in 2013. SAB Miller is also down after Liberum Capital downgraded its shares to sell; that after it became known that Anheuser-Busch InBev has offered to acquire the remainder of Grupo Modelo. FTSE 100 down 28 to 5,486.
0953: While the Footsie continues to trade firmly in the red, precious metals stocks are making good gains in London as gold and silver prices advance. Helping to lift sentiment in the gold mining sector, in particular, are comments from Nomura which has kept its 'bullish' view on the category. 'Gold remains fundamentally supported by long-term trends', including increasing gold holdings within central bank reserves and strong Chinese demand. The broker has today upgraded its ratings on Polymetal and Petropavlovsk. FTSE 100 is down 27 points at 5,487.
0835: Equities have begun the day lower in London, tracking Asian weakness overnight. That as investors gear up for the EU Summit at the end of the week, and as the sparring between Eurozone leaders continues. In particular, Greece´s difficulties appear to be especially intractable. The country has asked for two more years to carry out the adjustments asked of it, a demand to which Germany´s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has already balked. Also worth mentioning, economists at Citi have this morning cut their growth forecasts for Chinese GDP this year to 7.8%, from 8.1%. The largest faller now on the top share index is Shire, after the US Food and Drug Administration approved a rivals application to make a generic version of its attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, Adderall XR. Also worth mentioning, influential peers are seeking to place greater checks and balances on the executive power of the Bank of England, the Financial Times reports this morning. FTSE 100 down 29 to 5,484.