London open: Stocks edge lower on North Korea worries; construction PMI eyed

Mon 04 Sep 2017

LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks edged lower in early trade on Monday while safe-haven assets rallied as worries about North Korea gathered pace after it tested a hydrogen bomb over the weekend.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.2% to 7,423.98, while the pound was flat against the dollar at 1.2947 and 0.3% weaker versus the euro at 1.0886. Meanwhile, gold hit an 11-month high and the yen was up 0.7% versus the greenback as investors looked for somewhere safe to park their cash.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "There's little surprise as to what is driving trading this morning. North Korea's latest nuclear naughtiness has sent another ripple of fear through the markets this Monday - as has the US threat of a 'massive military response' and South Korea's own show of (simulated) force. However, with the increasing regularity of such tests, and the USA's Labor Day holiday, the edge has been taken off the European losses."

"While trading-nuance seems unlikely this Monday there is one piece of important UK data to try and break through the North Korea malaise: August's construction PMI. Analysts are expecting the figure to rise from 51.9 to 52.1 month-on-month, something that could spur sterling into action."

The construction purchasing managers' index is due at 0930 BST.

Precious metals miners Randgold Resources and Fresnillo were boosted by the jump in gold prices, while Dechra Pharmaceuticals was on the front foot after it posted a 45% rise in revenue for the year to 30 June.

Victrex racked up healthy gains after the high-performance polymer solutions company said it expects the annualised impact of Patent Box to reduce its effective tax rate to around 12% from 21%, with an ongoing favourable impact on earnings per share and cash.

On the downside, Micro Focus was weaker despite saying it expects to deliver medium-term benefits from its takeover of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's software business.

Low-cost airline Wizz Air flew a little lower despite reporting a 24.4% jump in passenger numbers in August as the load factor ticked higher.

Acacia Mining was in the red as it said it expects to return to positive cash generation early in 2018 after it stopped underground mining at one of its three Tanzanian mines.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,423.98 -0.20%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,737.26 -0.25%
techMARK (TASX) 3,418.87 -0.24%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 8,115.00p 2.59%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,644.00p 1.67%
DCC (DCC) 7,195.00p 0.77%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,843.50p 0.58%
BT Group (BT.A) 289.60p 0.40%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,810.00p 0.39%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 6,930.00p 0.29%
Provident Financial (PFG) 874.50p 0.29%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,789.00p 0.22%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,060.00p 0.19%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,224.00p -1.77%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 761.40p -1.62%
Experian (EXPN) 1,532.00p -1.16%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,647.00p -0.90%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 199.90p -0.89%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 612.00p -0.81%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,730.00p -0.78%
Next (NXT) 4,102.00p -0.77%
Royal Mail (RMG) 389.40p -0.76%
Centrica (CNA) 197.60p -0.75%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Victrex plc (VCT) 2,164.00p 5.82%
Indivior (INDV) 275.00p 2.77%
Polymetal International (POLY) 886.50p 2.37%
PayPoint (PAY) 940.50p 2.17%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 291.20p 2.14%
Carillion (CLLN) 43.19p 1.82%
Rank Group (RNK) 232.60p 1.57%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 367.60p 1.41%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,520.00p 1.33%
UBM (UBM) 674.50p 1.05%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Acacia Mining (ACA) 181.10p -12.55%
Ascential (ASCL) 367.40p -4.82%
Diploma (DPLM) 1,076.00p -2.71%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 1,128.00p -2.42%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 460.00p -2.31%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,772.00p -2.21%
NewRiver REIT (NRR) 340.00p -2.16%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 249.20p -2.01%
Softcat (SCT) 394.00p -1.97%
Genus (GNS) 1,860.00p -1.95%
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