Markets: FTSE 100 uncertain after Greek bailout on Tuesday

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17:17 - The FTSE 100 charted a path resembling a mountain range on Tuesday as investors ducked and dived in the aftermath of the Greek bailout decision.

London’s blue chip index closed 17.05 points lower at 5928.20 with the winners’ list lead by Vedanta Resources (VED), gaining 7%, while Evraz (EVR) ended 4.5% lower.

On AIM, Avia Health Informatics () added 51% during the session, while Gooch and Housego (GHH) remained in the red.

Interactive Investor users continued to trade Xcite Energy (XEL) through the site, although the balance shifted more to selling than buying. Desire () crept back into the top ten buys list, while Leed Petroleum (LDP) was widely sold.

Yusuf Heusen, sales trader at IG Index noted that investors seemed unimpressed with the Greek deal: “A so-called ‘sustainability analysis’ suggested that the country will still be far off from financial independence even in 2020, which calls into question whether this latest agreement can be continued after the Greek elections scheduled for April,” he said.

Looking ahead, Heusen said that Chinese data and a slew of eurozone PMIs tomorrow might provide the rationale for a push higher, as bulls look to take the FTSE 100 to 6000 and beyond.

At a glance


Gold: $1,753.68

WTI crude oil: $105.12


GBP/USD: 1.5795

GBP/EUR: 1.1917

EUR/USD: 1.3258

All changes from 09:00 GMT

16:59 - US stocks continued on their positive path during Tuesday, and at one stage the Dow Jones smashed the 130000 level for the first time since May 2008, after European leaders cleared another round of aid for Greece.

At the time of writing he Dow Jones was 36 points ahead at 12986, with the S&P up five points to 1366 while the Nasdaq was eight points higher at 2960.

16:43 - Wireless metering company Cyan (CYAN) enjoyed a boost to its shares on Tuesday as it said it has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Indian technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing company Larsen & Toubro.

The pair will provide Indian utility customers with advanced metering solutions. Both parties have identified a number of projects in India where there is a need for 865 megahertz based interoperable wireless advanced metering infrastructure with a short term requirement for end-to-end communications enabling remote tamper detection and reporting.

16:25 - Shares in optical manufacturing specialist Gooch and Housego (GHH) slumped almost 20% during Tuesday’s trading.

Earlier it had warned that full year results are likely to be significantly below its original forecasts.

The group says trading conditions have been more challenging than expected in the industrial laser market sector during the first four months of the financial year.

16:05 - Tullow Oil (TLW) fell to profit-takers as it confirmed that one of its exploration wells offshore Sierra Leone has successfully encountered hydrocarbons.

The Jupiter-1 well, Block SL-07B-11, located over 25km west of the Mercury-1 well which has already discovered oil in the block, is said to have intersected 30m of hydrocarbon pay in the "primary upper cretaceous objective" and did not encounter a hydrocarbon water contact.

"The well has been preserved for possible future re-entry, as the area is likely to require additional evaluation," the firm said.

15:45 - Titan Europe (TSW) told investors on Tuesday that its trading profit for 2011 would be "comfortably ahead of market expectations".

The group appeared to be firing on all cylinders as it confirmed that its revenues and order book "fully supported" market forecasts for 2011, while recent changes in taxation legislation in Italy would also benefit the group. Net debt was also likely to be lower than current market forecasts.

Looking ahead, Titan revealed that the new financial year had started with a strong order book and stated that the business was capable of "further progress" in 2012.

The group's preliminary results are expected to be announced in late March 2012.

15:24 - Ortac Resources (OTC) reiterated that its Šturec gold-silver Project in central Slovakia had the potential to become "a significant gold production asset".

The announcement came as the company reported drill results which continued to show reasonable gold and silver mineralisation from viable open pit depths of up to 240 meters.

With cash in the bank to cover the cost of the ongoing evaluation work, and the gold price remaining "firm", Asa Bridle, analyst at Seymour Pierce reiterated her ‘buy’ recommendation, with a target price of 4p for the shares.

For the full story, read: Ortac reveals latest drill results

15:02 - Uncertainty around the Greek bailout deal continued to haunt the FTSE 100.

Britain's top share index fell 16 points to 5929.

Vedanta Resources (VED) continued its march ahead, up almost 6%.

On the AIM front, () continued holding the wooden spoon, while Avia Health Informatics () soared more than 45%.

At a glance...


Gold: $1,746.65 ()

WTI crude oil: $104.85 ()


GBP/USD: 1.5784 ()

GBP/EUR: 1.1936 ()

EUR/USD: 1.3223 ()

All changes from 09:00 GMT

14:45 - The Greece bailout deal offered some relief to the US markets.

The Dow climbed up 27 points to 12979, while the Nasdaq edged seven points upwards to 2959.

The S&P followed suit with a four-point increase to 1366.

14:30 - Animal genetic company Genus (GNS) has reported a 22% increase in its pre-tax profits for the year ended December 2011.

Revenues climbed up 9% to £166.9 million. Bovine sales volumes were 8% higher, with strong increases in China and India, while porcine volumes climbed up 13%, driven by growth in Asia.

"Global population growth and increased urbanisation in developing countries is accelerating demand for protein in diets. This demand increase and pressure on prices, driven by higher feed costs, can only be met through improved efficiency and greater application of technology in farming," stressed chief executive Karim Bitar, adding that Genus's genetics were "key ingredients in this quest for improved productivity".

14:13 - Medusa Mining (MML) confirmed that it would produce 75,000 ounces of gold this year at a cash cost of $261/oz, down from the 100,000 ounces in the previous year "while the expansions to the haulage capacity from underground are completed, and accelerated development is prioritized".

The announcement came as the company revealed that it had produced about 26,800 oz at a cash cost of $261/oz in 2011 for the first half, with revenues coming in at $40.9 million.

"Clearly, despite the operational difficulties, Medusa retains a very attractive operating margin and with cash (no debt) and bullion of $80.2 million at 31 December, the company can continue with its expansion plans while also paying a A$0.05/share dividend," noted Asa Bridle, analyst at Seymour Pierce.

"Although further challenges remain for Medusa in its efforts to fulfil the expansion, we continue to take comfort in the preservation of a very profitable operation, which continues to generate significant cashflow during this transition period," she added, reiterating her ‘buy’ recommendation.

13:55 - Croda (CRDA) boasted “outstanding” results with pre-tax profits and return on sales for the full year ending December 2011 up 25.9% and 22.7% respectively.

The company also increased its dividend by 55%. Net debt was reduced to £231 million, despite returning £118 million to shareholders via dividends and share buybacks.

Looking ahead, the company remained optimistic. “Trading in January was encouraging and this positive trend has continued, despite the obvious economic uncertainties in Europe. While it is still early in the year and our visibility is limited, we expect 2012 to be another year of progress for Croda,” said chairman Martin Flower.

13:35 - Drax (DRX) said that "continued good operations and tight cost control" contributing to it making pre-tax profits of £338 million for the full year to December 2011.

The company acknowledged that it continued to operate at less than its installed renewable biomass capacity, attributing the reason to "the current low level of regulatory support". However, it was confident that the results of its biomass combustion trials would result in it becoming "predominantly" biomass fuelled.

Looking ahead, the company said that it had a strong hedge in place for 2012 at good margins, but warmed that it had "little" market visibility beyond 2013.

13:15 - Segro (SGRO) has made a pre-tax loss of £53.6 million for the year ending December 2011, despite group vacancy rate being reduced further to 9.1%.

Additionally, the company said that it expected the macro environment to "remain unsettled for some time to come, both in the UK and Continental Europe".

However, the owner-manager and developer of industrial property stressed that it had started the new year with "good momentum" in its letting activity and that its 20 mainly pre-let development projects underpinned future rental income.

12:49 - Morgan Sindall (MGNS) posted a 6% increase in group revenues to £2.2 billion for the full-year, with pre-tax profits falling 12% to £45.3 million.

"We have a positive stance on Morgan Sindall due to the enhanced opportunity in the social housing sector, good UK infrastructure exposure, sound financials and attractive valuation," said Andy Brown, analyst at Panmure Gordon, highlighting the "above average dividend yield".

Shares in the company are trading on 2012 price to earnings ratio of about nine times, which Broen estimated is a discount to its five-year historic average of 9.6 times. The dividend yield is 6%, covered 1.8 times by earnings.

12:27 - BP (BP.) has announced an that its interim dividend for the fourth quarter of 2011 will be $0.08 per ordinary share.

The dividend will be paid on 30 March to shareholders on the share register on 17 February.

The company confirmed that the dividend is payable in cash in sterling to holders of ordinary shares and in US dollars to holders of American Depository Shares (ADSs).

12:10 - Despite agreement of the second Greek bailout, the FTSE 100’s reaction remained muted.

London’s leading share index slipped 29 points to 5919.

"Agreement of the deal was widely expected, but the underwhelmed response by markets may also be an air of caution returning because we have been here on a few occasions before, only for any deal to be scuppered," commented David Jones, chief market Strategist at IG Index.

Vedanta Resources (VED) held onto its gains, climbing up almost 4%.

On the AIM front, Solo Oil (SOLO) soared 23%, while () slumped more than 60%.

Looking ahead, US markets are expected to liven up this afternoon, with Jones forecasting the Dow to start off around the 13000 mark.

At a glance...


Gold: $1,738.48 ()

WTI crude oil: $104.89 ()


GBP/USD: 1.5810 ()

GBP/EUR: 1.1966 ()

EUR/USD: 1.3214 ()

All changes from 09:00 GMT

11.30 - AIM-listed gold companies, including Kalimantan Gold (), Touchstone Gold () and Patagonia Gold (PGD), traded in the black as they updated investors.

For the full story, read: Three AIM gold players update investors

11.15 - One in three company directors sees a high or very high risk of the UK falling into recession this year, according to the Institute of Directors (IoD).

The IoD's survey of 1,000 business leaders said that only 11% thought there was a low or very low risk of the UK entering recession in 2012. 43% think any recession will be short and mild, while 10% think it will be long and deep.

The key source of concern highlighted by the survey was the future of the euro.

"If the euro crisis stabilises, confidence could return relatively quickly and companies could dust down business investment and recruitment plans put on hold last year," said IoD’s chief economist Graeme Leach. "Alternatively, of the euro crisis gets worse, confidence is highly unlikely to return this year," he added.

10:47 - Cove Energy (COV) has encountered 577 net feet of natural pay gas in the Lagosta-3 well, Offshore Mozambique.

"This discovery not only delivers another significant section of gas pay but also considerably extends the western area of the gas field, adding further confirmation to the 15 to 30-plus trillion cubic feet (tcf) recoverable gas resource estimate for the Windjammer, Lagosta, Barquentine and Camarão (WLBC) complex," said chief executive John Craven.

Broker FoxDavies told investors to expect some strong share price movements in the stock, while Malcolm Graham-Wood at VSA Capital Limited said that he would be increasing his Cove takeout value expectation after this "great find".

For more, read: Cove Energy makes significant discovery

10:25 - The UK saw a net repayment of £7.8 billion on the Public Sector Net Borrowing Requirement (PSNBR) excluding financial interventions in January compared to a net repayment of £5.2 billion a year earlier, the largest surplus for four years.

Overall, the PSNBR excluding financial interventions amounted to £93.5 billion in the first 10 months of fiscal year 2011/12, compared to £109.1 billion in the corresponding 2010/11 period.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at HIS Global Insight, said that the public finance figure added to the recent better news of the economy and was particularly pleasing for the government as it comes shortly after Moody’s put the UK’s AAA credit rating on negative outlook.

"However, Chancellor George Osborne will be under no illusions of the difficulties he still faces on the economic growth and public finances fronts, and he knows full well that he has limited room for manoeuvre in March’s budget and very little scope for give-aways," he warned.  

10:00 - Oil services giant AMEC () raised its 2012 dividend by 15% to 30.5p and announced a £400 million share buy-back programme.

Revenue for 2011 came in at £3.261 billion, and although this was a rise of 11% on the previous year, it was well below the £3.273 billion expected by the market.

For the full story, read: AMEC hikes dividend and returns cash to shareholders

09:35 - Desire Petroleum () promised to update investors on its discovery area “in the near future” after it received an updated Competent Persons Report incorporating the 14/15-4a well results.

For more, read: Desire prepares to update investors

09:00 – The FTSE 100 gave up Monday’s gains despite eurozone finance ministers approving a €130 billion rescue for Greece.

London’s leading share index fell 11 points to 5934.

Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor stressed that this deal was not the magic fix that investors would like, and that there were still a number of hurdles to jump over the next few weeks. "The danger for other European countries that have remained out of the spotlight whilst the Greek drama played out is that the focus of attention will turn to them, with Spain and Portugal likely face increased scrutiny next," she warned.

Miners marched ahead as copper prices added another 1.4% in Asia trade on expectations of more lending for infrastructure projects in China. Vedanta Resources () was the top performer, up almost 2%.

On the AIM front, Nexus Management (NXS) gained 18%, while Formation Group () plunged almost 27%.

Looking ahead, January's British public sector finance data will be released at 0930 GMT.

US markets

U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

Looking ahead, January's Chicago Fed index will be released at 1330 GMT.

At a glance...

Asian markets

Nikkei 225: 9463 ( 22)

Hang Seng: 21479 ( 54)

Shanghai Composite: 2382 ( 18)


Gold: $1,739.81

WTI crude oil: $105.17


GBP/USD: 1.5858

GBP/EUR: 1.1953

EUR/USD: 1.3253

08:00 - The FTSE 100 opens at 5945.25