|CATEGORY: MARKET REPORT - MIDDAY
Fri 08 Sep 2017
LONDON (SHARECAST) - (ShareCast News) - London stocks were still in the red by midday as investors digested a mixed set of UK data, amid worries that North Korea might be preparing for a missile launch on Saturday to mark the celebration of its founding day.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,372.90, while the pound was up 0.3% against the euro at 1.0925 and 0.6% higher versus the dollar 1.3182.
Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Risk aversion is creeping back into the markets on Friday as traders prepare for what could be another troubling weekend in the ongoing stand-off between the US and North Korea.
"What makes this weekend more concerning than others is that North Korea celebrates founding day on Saturday, which would be the perfect opportunity for it to display a show of strength, as it did on the same day last year. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see just how people trade into the close and whether the flight for safety starts early this week. We're already seeing signs of this today with safe havens gold, yen and the Swiss franc all higher. Equity markets are also a little mixed in a sign that risk appetite remains weak."
Market participants were also mulling over the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed a surprise rise in manufacturing output in July, but a worse-than-expected drop in construction output.
Meanwhile, there was little change in the UK's trade deficit in July, which came in at £2.87bn.
In corporate news, pub companies were all dragged down as brewer and pub operator Greene King slumped after it said pub revenues fell in the in the first 18 weeks of the year and it is feeling cautious about the coming months amid weaker consumer confidence, increased costs and increasing competition. Peers Mitchells & Butler, JD Wetherspoon, Fullers and most of all Marston's were all pulled down with it.
Experian was trading lower as US credit report giant Equifax said the data of around 143m of its customers may have been compromised in a cyber security breach.
British Land nudged down after announcing its debut sterling bond issue for £300m at a coupon of 2.375% for 12 years.
On the upside, Dairy Crest edged higher after the cheese-maker said it will trim its cash pension contributions by around £12m over the next two years and its future pensions bill will be reduced as it moves retirees' benefit increase to the consumer price index rather than the retail price index.
Vectura was in the black after chief financial officer Andrew Derodra bought 82,00 shares in the pharmaceuticals company, while Burberry was boosted by an upgrade to 'outperform' at Credit Suisse.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,372.90 -0.33%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,542.53 -0.78%
techMARK (TASX) 3,443.15 -0.44%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barclays (BARC) 187.20p 1.74%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,665.00p 1.29%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,779.00p 0.91%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 63.64p 0.89%
Tesco (TSCO) 188.05p 0.86%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,401.00p 0.79%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 414.90p 0.78%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 728.00p 0.58%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 242.40p 0.50%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,004.00p 0.45%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Kingfisher (KGF) 290.40p -2.81%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 318.30p -2.72%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,533.00p -2.16%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,715.00p -2.00%
Experian (EXPN) 1,492.00p -1.84%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 194.50p -1.77%
Provident Financial (PFG) 775.00p -1.71%
GKN (GKN) 326.10p -1.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,030.00p -1.62%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 811.00p -1.52%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Vectura Group (VEC) 95.05p 5.67%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 25.78p 2.79%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 2,035.00p 2.78%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 399.70p 2.30%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 369.80p 2.18%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,796.00p 2.08%
Northgate (NTG) 411.90p 1.33%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 602.50p 1.26%
Evraz (EVR) 308.30p 1.25%
Marshalls (MSLH) 435.40p 1.19%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Greene King (GNK) 584.00p -11.38%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 2,401.00p -9.40%
Marston's (MARS) 105.80p -6.78%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 405.50p -5.01%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 601.50p -3.76%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 247.10p -3.74%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 393.80p -3.72%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 810.00p -3.57%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,570.00p -3.51%
Halfords Group (HFD) 316.90p -3.41%