London open: Stocks in the red as geopolitical tensions mount

Tue 29 Aug 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday as investors were rattled by geopolitical tensions after North Korea launched a missile over Japan.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.9% to 7,334.98, while the pound was up 0.2% versus the dollar at 1.2953. Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said the drop in the greenback isn't just down to North Korea, but also the impact of Hurricane Harvey, what that could mean for the US's impending debt ceiling drama, how that in turn reduces the chances of Congress green-lighting funding for Trump's wall and, finally, the possibility that that will push the President to shut down the government as threatened last week.

"Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump have so far responded with a vow to increase the pressure on North Korea, and calls for an emergency UN security council meeting, following a 40 minute phone call between the two leaders last night. That is an atypical reply from Trump, and the markets will be on the lookout for anything more bombastic as the day goes on," he said.

"For now, however, the event in and of itself is enough to have seriously spooked the European indices."

Investors were also digesting the latest survey from Nationwide, which showed that house price growth in the UK slowed to 2.1% in August from 2.9% in July, while month-on-month, prices fell 0.1% compared with a 0.2% increase the month before and expectations of a 0.1% gain.

In corporate news, distribution and outsourcing group Bunzl edged lower despite reporting a jump in interim pre-tax profit of 17%.

Mitie was in the red after the City watchdog began to probe the timing and preparation of a profit warning last September. Mitie revealed on Monday that the Financial Conduct Authority had on Friday told the facilities management outsourcing group that an investigation "in connection with the timeliness" of the profit warning that was announced by the company on 19 September 2016.

AstraZeneca retreated despite announcing that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Faslodex (fulvestrant) 500mg as monotherapy for expanded use in women with hormone-receptor positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative advanced breast cancer, who have gone through menopause and have not received previous endocrine therapy.

Grainger slipped after agreeing to acquire a 375-home build-to-rent development in Salford, North West England for roughly 80m, while Restaurant Group and Tullow Oil were hit by broker downgrades.

Polymetal rallied after its first-half earnings per share came in better than expected.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,334.98 -0.90%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,591.84 -0.40%
techMARK (TASX) 3,376.89 -0.43%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Provident Financial (PFG) 968.00p 5.68%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,845.00p 3.63%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,621.00p 2.59%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 6,840.00p 0.51%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 287.80p 0.38%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,220.00p 0.33%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,309.00p 0.23%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 419.50p 0.12%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,953.00p 0.10%
SEGRO (SGRO) 528.00p 0.09%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Standard Chartered (STAN) 759.60p -2.25%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,535.00p -1.92%
ITV (ITV) 157.90p -1.86%
CRH (CRH) 2,671.00p -1.80%
Barclays (BARC) 190.80p -1.80%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,006.00p -1.57%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 435.30p -1.43%
BAE Systems (BA.) 590.50p -1.42%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 64.02p -1.37%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,143.00p -1.36%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Hochschild Mining (HOC) 280.20p 4.83%
IP Group (IPO) 120.20p 4.07%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 157.60p 2.80%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 206.90p 2.73%
Polymetal International (POLY) 967.50p 2.33%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,132.00p 2.26%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,096.00p 1.95%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 459.20p 1.80%
BTG (BTG) 690.00p 1.47%
FDM Group (Holdings) (FDM) 930.00p 1.42%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Restaurant Group (RTN) 311.70p -3.47%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,715.00p -2.97%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 302.40p -2.73%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 152.60p -2.49%
CYBG (CYBG) 283.00p -2.38%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 679.00p -2.23%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,774.00p -2.15%
Just Group (JUST) 149.30p -2.10%
Greencore Group (GNC) 196.40p -1.75%
Templeton Emerging Markets Inv Trust (TEM) 752.00p -1.64%
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