Date: Tuesday 24 Jul 2012
LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630:CloseThough Footsie finished the day in the red, an element of calm returned after Monday's shake-out. Of the top-share index's 101 constituents, 29 rose on the day, 71 fell and one was unchanged. Speciality chemicals producer Croda was the big winner after well-received results while Rolls-Royce was another gainer after it announced a contract win to supply liquefied natural gas power and propulsion systems to two ferries being built in Norway. Macro-economic news-flow was not helpful to equities, however, with credit ratings agency Moody's making threatening noises about the triple-A ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, while German Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) data for July showed weakening business conditions in Europe's economic power-house. FTSE 100 was down 35 at 5,499.
1601: Glencore is leading fallers as profit-taking ensues across the grain complex in the United States. That on the heels of forecasts for rain across several West and mid-Western US states during the next fortnight. Nonetheless, Goldman Sachs yesterday day raised its price forecasts for grains three months out. Thus, any profit-taking may yet prove to be short-lived some think. There is also interest in the next FDA report scheduled for release in two weeks´ time.
1544: Stocks continue to move lower after Catalonia´s finance minister told the British Broadcasting Corporation that it has "no other bank than the government of Spain." For some observers that is an admission that the region will seek aid from its central government. No less relevant, some market commentary is linking the very slight drop today in Gilts to the rise we are seeing in German bond yields after Moody´s lowered the outlook on the country´s debt. FTSE 100 down 38 to 5,496.
1513: Footsie has turned south after US markets opened lower. Tobacco company IMPs is holding on to slim gains after a trading update this morning. Panmure Gordon said the trading statement, covering a 9-month period, was broadly in line with expectations. 'Despite lowering our EPS [earnings per share] forecasts to reflect FX [foreign exchange] headwinds we believe that Imperial remains well positioned to deliver further volume growth from its key brands and should also benefit from positive pricing momentum in Q4 [fourth quarter],' the broker said, as it reiterated its 'buy' recommendation and 2900p price target. FTSE 100 is down 14 at 5,520.
1407: Shares of Croda continue to lead following positive remarks out from JP Morgan this morning on its "strong" results and ahead of the US open, which looks like its going to be only slightly to the downside. Meanwhile, analyst Andrew Garthwaite over at Credit Suisse has reiterated his overweight stance on UK REITS saying that: "as we move towards synchronized QE, we believe investors should focus on cheap real assets and companies that price off RPI/CPI - and UK REITs involve both. We increased the overweight on June 29th (UK: A port in a storm). We highlight further positives for UK REITs below ...." FTSE 100 up 3 points to 5,536.
1135: Interest in BP's half-share in its Russian joint-venture TNK-BP is hoting up with Russian oil giant Rosneft expressing an interest in buying it. BP is already in discussions with Alfa Access-Renova, which owns the other half of TNK-BP, about the sale of its stake. FTSE 100 is up 1 at 5,535.
1024: It has been a good morning for door-step lenders as both International Personal Finance and Provident Financial surge following trading updates. Hedge fund manager Man Group, now languishing among the FTSE 250 constituents after being ejected from the top-share index's constituent list, is enjoying a rare moment in the sun after it said it has identified another 100m dollars of annual cost savings in addition to the 95m dollars of savings announced back in March. Societe Generale has upgraded its view on Aberdeen Asset Management to buy from hold. Croda may also benefit from positive comments on the stock out of analysts at JP Morgan. FTSE 100 is up 12 at 5,546.
0939: Spain´s Treasury has just auctioned 3.05bn euros in 3 and 6 month bills, slightly ahead of the 3.0bn euros in issuance which had been targetted. The yields on offer rose slightly for the 3 month debt on offer and moderately so for 6 month paper (to 3.691% from 3.237%). Bid-to-cover ratios have also risen.
0920: Speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) the President of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Jim O´Neill, has called on the European Central Bank (ECB) to take radical action.
0836: UK banks are expected to set aside at least another one billion pounds for PPI mis-selling, according to Sky. That comes on the heels of estimates from JP Morgan Cazenove, yesterday, pointing to a spike in PPI related claims at the four biggest UK banks during the month of May. Over on the Continent, Germany´s manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index for the month of July has come in well below forecasts, at 43.3. Worth noting, after the close of trading yesterday LCH Clearnet raised some of its margin reqirements for trading in Italian and Spanish debt.
0819: The market has stabilised after yesterday's shake-out. Debt ratings agency Moodys Investors Service has revised the outlooks on the triple-A ratings of Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to 'negative' from 'stable' due to the rising uncertainty regarding the outcome of the Eurozone debt crisis and the increased likelihood of Greeces exit from the single-currency region, but it appears that the market got panicking over the Eurozone out of its system yesterday, at least for now. Speciality chemicals firm Croda is wanted after a solid set of interim results in which improved margins were a highlight. FTSE 100 is down 2 at 5,532.