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Markets: FTSE 100 unsteady after Greek vote

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Interactive Investor's Market Report brings you bite-sized news covering all the day's FTSE and AIM announcements, the latest on commodities, global and domestic economics, gold, oil and currencies as well as US markets. Updated throughout the day, it's the digest you can't afford to miss.

Last updated: 17:05

FTSE 100 nudges higher

Monday saw the FTSE 100 (UKX) remain in positive territory, despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm among investors as attention shifted away from Athens and moved westwards to Spain, where bond yields were on the rise yet again.

London's leading share index closed at 5491.09, 12.28 points higher.

Ashmore Group (ASHM) wrestled its way to the top, jumping more than 3%, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) slipped almost 5%.

On the AIM front, shares in O Twelve Estates (OTE) gained half their value. Plus Markets (PMK) shed 37.5%.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) was the most actively-traded stock by the users of Interactive Investor.

"The elections in Greece change nothing; the country is still faced with years of painful austerity and little economic growth, a highly toxic combination that will continue to breed resentment among ordinary Greek citizens," commented David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index.

"So long as the Greek demos remains unhappy, then there remains the possibility that this small nation, a minor player in the grand scheme of things, will continue to hold the entire global economy to ransom."

Jones was also sceptical of the G20 meeting's chances of heralding anything meaningful. "The only glimmer of hope left is the Fed meeting later in the week, but I fear even this will prove to be a disappointment."

At a glance...

GBP/USD: 1.5655 Gold: $1,627.20
GBP/EUR: 1.2457 WTI crude oil: $82.81
EUR/USD: 1.2569 All changes from 09:00 BST.






US markets narrow losses

US stocks lessened their retreat on Monday after some optimism over the Greek elections returned, but a treasury bond rise showed there were still fears over Spanish bond yields.

The Nasdaq recovered to 2881, eight points up, but the Dow Jones struggled to make up lost ground, 21 points down at 12745. The S&P 500 returned to where it began at the start of the day, at 1342.

PPHE Hotel Group completes sale and leaseback

PPHE Hotel Group (PPH) has completed the purchase of the freehold property at 628 Western Avenue, Park Royal, London, a development site, for £6 million.

Simultaneously, the company has completed the sale of the site at a price of £7 million and the leaseback of the site at an initial rent of £306,500 per year. Under the terms of the sale and leaseback, PPHE Hotel Group is required to procure the construction of a 158-162 room hotel on the site.

£4 million of the consideration for the sale and leaseback will be held in escrow pending inter alia the receipt of planning permission to construct a new hotel on the site. The balance of £3 million has been paid to PPHE.

Majestic Wine uncorks preliminary results

Majestic Wine (MJW) proved that it was "resilient in a challenging economic environment" as it unveiled its preliminary results for the 53 weeks ended 2 April.

Total and like-for-like UK sales increased 8.9% and 2.6% respectively. Pre-tax profits at the group level jumped 14.5% to £23.2 million. Customers who made purchases in the last 12 months climbed 11.1%, with the average spend per transaction up £2 to £128. Sales of fine wine, priced at £20 per bottle and above, increased by 18.5% on last year, representing 6.2% of UK store sales.

After the period end, the company confirmed that in the 10 weeks from 3 April to 11 June 2012, UK like-for-like sales were up 0.6%. Majestic also expressed confidence in its ability to expand to 330 locations.

Omnicane increases shareholding in The Real Good Food Company

Omnicane International Investments has increased its shareholding in The Real Good Food Company (RGD) to approximately 20.0% of the enlarged share capital and voting rights of the company.

The companies also announced their intention to explore joint ventures, not only in added-value sugar production but in developing export markets for other Real Good Food Company products, particularly on the African continent.

"Both businesses can learn from each other - with the impending changes in the sugar market, the timing couldn't be better," said Jacques D'Unienville, chief executive of Omnicane.

FTSE 100 yo-yos

The FTSE 100 (UKX) dipped in and out of negative territory as Monday wore on as the focus from Greece's elections turned to Spain's rising bond yields.

The blue-chip index gained eight points, climbing to 5487.

Burberry Group (BRBY) jumped more than 3%, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) lost 5% and 4% respectively.

On the AIM front, shares in O Twelve Estates (OTE) soared 37.5%. Plus Markets (PMK) plunged by the same percentage.

At a glance...

GBP/USD: 1.5664 Gold: $1,618.90
GBP/EUR: 1.2434
WTI crude oil: $82.60
EUR/USD: 1.2593 All changes from 09:00 BST.






US markets fall as Spanish yields rise

US markets dipped into the red at the open on Monday as euphoria over the Greek elections gave way to anxiety over Spanish bond yields, which surpassed the 7% threshold.

The Dow Jones slipped 53 points to 12714. The Nasdaq declined 12 points to 2861, while the S&P 500 followed suit with a six-point fall to 1337.

Cable and Wireless Worldwide gets shareholder boost

Cable and Wireless Worldwide (CW.) has received support from its 19% shareholder, Bermuda-based fund Orbis, regarding the takeover by Vodafone (VOD).

The announcement came after C&WW commented that the CWW Scheme of Arrangement would eventually succeed, even if Orbis were to vote against it.

For more, read: Cable and Wireless Worldwide jumps after takeover support.

Commodities round-up

Coal of Africa (CZA) and Solo Oil (SOLO) were among the 11 AIM-listed commodities firms that updated investors on Monday.

Read: Monday's AIM news: Commodities, to find out all the latest...

Planet Payment announces Citibank deal

Planet Payment () and Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited have announced an agreement to provide Planet Payment's 'Pay in Your Currency' service to Citibank's portfolio of merchants in Hong Kong and Macau.

With 'Pay in Your Currency', eligible customers are offered the convenience of paying in their home currency at the point of sale. Customers are presented with a receipt or a terminal device which displays the transaction amounts in the merchant's local currency (either Hong Kong dollars or Macau pataca) and their home currency, together with the exchange rate and other service details.

Greek election offers little comfort

Initial relief at the results of the Greek elections to give way to scepticism regarding the size of the challenges ahead for Greece and Europe.

The weekend's election saw the pro-bail-out New Democracy party edge just ahead of its anti-bail-out Syriza rival, meaning that, at least for the moment, Greece is no longer headed straight for an exit from the eurozone.

For the full story, read:
Analysts fear Greek election may be "end of the beginning".

The Weather Lottery issues 39 million new shares

The Weather Lottery () has issued 39 million shares in part settlement of fees due to company personnel.

Non-executive chairman Lord ET Razzall, company secretary and legal adviser JM Botros, and general manager JS Williams received 12 million shares each in settlement of £12,000 fees due. Consultant on gambling matters, A Moore, received three million shares in settlement of £3,000 fees due.

Following the issue of these shares, Williams, Botros and Lord Razzall will hold 14.7%, 8.55% and 4.53% of the issued share capital of the company.

The new shares are being issued at 0.1p per share, a 25% premium to the closing mid-market price of the shares on 15 June.

DS Smith to complete acquisition

DS Smith (SMDS) announced that all conditions to its proposed acquisition of SCA Packaging Holding, first announced on 17 January, have now been satisfied or waived.

The company thus confirmed that the expected date of completion for the acquisition is 30 June.

FTSE 100 creeps higher

The FTSE 100 (UKX) edged higher as trading progressed on a rollercoaster Monday, after opinion was split on the importance of the Greek election results.

London's top share index was up 17 points to 5496. Evraz (EVR) was the biggest climber, with shares jumping 4.7%, while Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) lost 1.5%.

ATH Resources (ATH) led the pack on AIM, with shares up 24%. Managed Support Services () lost an even more substantial 27.8%.

"For the second week in succession, euphoria over apparent progress in the eurozone has lasted for only a few hours," commented Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG Index.

"In summary, we are really no further along than last Friday, and markets have reflected this; last week's relief rally lasted barely a day, this one has been even briefer. Spanish and Italian yields have begun rising once again, while most indices are now back in the red.

"US futures are signalling a weaker start for Wall Street, and with no major events on the horizon it seems the bears will predominate for the time being."

At a glance...

GBP/USD: 1.5662
Gold: $1,621.62
GBP/EUR: 1.2397 WTI crude oil: $83.85
EUR/USD: 1.2634 All changes from 09:00 BST.






Man Group appoints new finance director

Man Group (EMG) on Monday announced that Jonathan Sorrel, current head of strategy and corporate finance, will take over as finance director with immediate effect.

Kevin Hayes, who joined as finance director in 2007, has left the company "to pursue other professional and personal interests".

Man's next scheduled public announcement will be its interim results on 24 July.

Melrose confirms takeover discussions

Melrose (MRO) has confirmed that it is in discussions with Elster Group (ELT) regarding a recommended cash offer for the entire issued share capital of Elster.

Elster currently has a market capitalisation of $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion). Elster, an engineering company, provides gas, electricity and water meters, gas utilisation products and related communications, networking and software solutions.

Melrose stated that any transaction would be funded through a combination of new debt and a fully underwritten rights issue to existing Melrose shareholders.

Gem Diamonds falls after mining accident

A collapse at a Gem Diamonds (GEMD) mine in Botswana has killed two workers and delayed production.

A full assessment of the likely impact upon the project and overall costs is ongoing, but it is expected that production will now commence later than expected, with the first diamonds expected from the mine in the first half of 2014.

For more, read: Gem Diamonds hit by tunnel collapse.

Salamander Energy spuds FE-1 well

Salamander Energy (SMDR) has spudded its Bualuang Far East-1 (FE-1) exploration well in Block B8/38 in the Gulf of Thailand.

The well reached a total vertical depth of 1,452 metres subsea.

Broker FoxDavies commented that the spudding of the well was another step towards the monetisation of its Block B8/38 resources. "With the primary target having a potential mean recoverable resource of 20 million barrels of oil, [Monday's] news should bode well for the share price."

Tesco to divest Japanese business

British supermarket giant Tesco (TSCO) said on Monday it will sell half of its Japanese business to the country's No.2 general retailer Aeon Corp for a nominal sum, ending an eight-year attempt to crack Japan's tough retail market.

Many foreign retailers have struggled in Japan, hampered by fickle consumer tastes, a super-competitive landscape and prolonged, profit-sapping deflation.

For more, read: Tesco to sell 50% of Japan operations to Aeon.

Aisi Realty Public appoints director

Aisi Realty Public (AISI) has appointed Álvaro Portela as a non-executive director.

Portela's appointment to the board follows closely that of Harin Thaker, previously chief executive officer, Europe of Hypo Real Estate, who joined as a non-executive director in May.

"The appointments build on a number of successful turnaround initiatives which have been implemented by the new internal management as part of a wider strategy, to improve the company's financial strength, and reposition it for future growth," the firm said.

Greek vote pushes FTSE 100 higher

The FTSE 100 (UKX) appeared to be relieved at New Democracy's win over Syriza in Greece, jumping 29 points to 5507.

ARM Holdings (ARM) climbed almost 2%, while Aggreko (AGK) slipped 1.6%.

On the AIM front, Forbidden Technologies (FBT) soared 22%, while shares in Managed Support Services () plunged 28%.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) was the most actively-traded stock by the users of Interactive Investor.

However, Rebecca O'Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor pointed out questions were already being asked about how strong this rally really was and whether reality about the hard work that is to come will dampen spirits.

She added: "Two meetings are taking place today, designed to bring more certainty to global markets. First, the G20 in Mexico, where there is hope that world leaders will be able to show rather more leadership than they managed at their last get-together. The market will be looking for clear policies in favour of global growth."

"Second, the P5+1 nations are meeting in Moscow with Iran to discuss Iran's nuclear aspirations. Iran was keen to compromise in Baghdad, but got offered little. Signals indicate that Iran remains keen to do a deal, but it is not clear that Western nations will be prepared to reverse their imminent sanctions yet in order to reach a compromise."

At a glance...

Asian markets Currencies Commodities
Nikkei 225: 8721 ( 151) GBP/USD: 1.5669 Gold: $1,619.40
Hang Seng: 19427 ( 193) GBP/EUR: 1.2367 WTI crude oil: $84.87
Shanghai Composite: 2316 ( nine) EUR/USD: 1.2681  






08:00 - The FTSE 100 (UKX) opens at 5478.81.