LONDON (ShareCast) - - Eurozone back in the spotlight
- Monti warns about Eurozone break-up
- M&S up on bid rumours
The Footsie declined in early trading on Monday as Eurozone concerns dampened sentiment; stocks were pulling back from a strong surge on Friday after US jobs data smashed expectations.
Analyst Moyeen Islam said this morning: "After the market was disappointed by the ECB press conference on Thursday, there was a decent recovery in risk appetite after the US employment report. Overnight, the Asian exchanges have picked up the baton and performed well following more positive statements form Eurozone policymakers over the weekend."
Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco told La Repubblica that if the Eurozone economy continues to contract, "we can expect a more accommodating monetary policy in the next few months".
However, according to Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti in an interview with German publication Der Spiegel, the Eurozone tensions "bear the traits of a psychological dissolution of Europe." Talking about the growing resentment between southern and northern European nations, he said that "it is very alarming, and we have to fight against it".
In other news, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has issued a statement saying that in the second half, we must continue to reinforce fine-tuning and pre-emptive adjustment in monetary policy and improve credit policy to support the development of the real economy."
With those same aims in mind the central bank has said that it will increase research into the economic situation so as to better steer policy and help maintain stable growth.
M&S up on M&A speculation
Company news was thin on the ground this morning, with just a few stocks on the FTSE 350 releasing updates.
M&S was a high riser on the FTSE 100 after the Sunday Telegraph reported that the High Street giant is the subject of takeover talks. The paper said that bankers at a number of London institutions have assessed the possibility of providing debt finance for a speculative bid of £6bn.
Insurance firm Catlin Group rose after jumping back into the black in the first half of 2012 as premiums rose and its London hub sprang back into life.
Data centre operator TeleCity Group was also up after saying demand for its services remains strong in all of its markets, as it made good on its promise to declare a maiden dividend.
No frills airline easyJet was flying higher after it reported a strong rise in both passenger numbers and load factor in July. The total number of people booking on flights in the month was 5,860,272, up 8% on July 2011.
Upstream exploration and production group Heritage Oil saw losses widen significantly in the six months to June 30th, though it is waiting to complete a "transformational" acquisition in Nigeria before production really ramps up.
Airline group IAG was pressured lower after Credit Suisse downgraded its rating on the stock to 'neutral' and cut its target price from 176p to 160p. Meanwhile, SSE and Centrica were also down after Deutsche Bank cut its recommendations on the shares to 'hold'.
AIM-listed E&P group Falkland Oil & Gas jumped after saying that it will farm-out an interest in its Northern Area Licences to US firm Noble Energy which should "substantially" improve its financial position.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 349.80p +2.55%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,323.00p +1.38%
CRH (CRH) 1,200.00p +1.27%
GKN (GKN) 213.00p +1.14%
IMI (IMI) 848.50p +1.13%
Glencore International (GLEN) 324.60p +1.12%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 391.50p +0.85%
Meggitt (MGGT) 393.60p +0.77%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,706.00p +0.71%
Whitbread (WTB) 2,149.00p +0.70%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,183.00p -4.59%
Centrica (CNA) 318.60p -1.51%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 553.30p -1.28%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 3,061.50p -1.11%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,719.00p -1.09%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,552.00p -0.96%
Xstrata (XTA) 871.00p -0.94%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,313.00p -0.90%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 560.50p -0.88%
Standard Life (SL.) 251.10p -0.87%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 1,486.00p +3.92%
Berendsen (BRSN) 527.50p +3.43%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 145.30p +3.12%
Telecity Group (TCY) 864.50p +3.10%
Catlin Group Ltd. (CGL) 445.20p +3.06%
CSR (CSR) 331.80p +2.66%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 524.00p +2.64%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 443.00p +2.55%
Redrow (RDW) 134.10p +2.52%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 297.00p +2.41%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
QinetiQ Group (QQ.) 169.00p -1.74%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 736.00p -1.14%
Cranswick (CWK) 849.00p -1.05%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 718.65p -0.88%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 87.35p -0.85%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 671.00p -0.81%
Big Yellow Group (BYG) 311.50p -0.80%
Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd. (GSS) 501.50p -0.79%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 380.10p -0.76%
Drax Group (DRX) 482.40p -0.74%