StockMarketWire | 24/10/2014 - 09:41
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FTSE indices were southbound again on opening this morning with retail-related and resources stocks acting as ballast. The market has its eye squarely on UK gross domestic product data out mid morning.

Shortly after the open, the FTSE 100 was down 39.06 points, or 0.61%, to 6380.09, and the FTSE 250 was down 49.98 points, or 0.33%, to 15,086.0. US markets closed up overnight, while Asian markets were mixed this morning.

Retail-related stocks were notable among blue-chip fallers. Tesco (TSCO) was down 2.46% to 166.8p, followed by Marks & Spencer (MKS) and Sainsbury (SBRY). Reckitt Benckiser (RB.) shed 0.94% to 5027.5p, while Unilever (ULVR) lost 0.8% to 2420.5p.

Mining stocks southbound included Anglo American (AAL), down 1.16% to 1324.5p, and Antofagasta (ANTO), down 1% to 690.5p. Also headed lower were a mixed palette of financial and pharmaceutical stocks.

Energy issues losing ground included BP (BP.), which fell 1.23% to 433.53p, and Petrofac (PFC), down 0.56% to 1074p. On the plus side of the ledger gains were muted. British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) led with a 1.11% rise to 869p.

BIGGER MOVERS

Morgan Sindall (MGNS) expects its full-year result will be below previous expectations set at the time of the half year results announced on 5 August 2014. Its shares fell 12.62% to 689p.

John Lewis of Hungerford (JLH), up 14.81% to 1.55p, expects sales for the year to the end of August to be £7.4m - up from £6.6m. It said the increase reflects a positive underlying trading performance coupled with contributions from the new Chiswick showroom and the new bedroom range.

4imprint Group (FOUR) reports continued strong organic growth in the three months to 27 September. Revenue for Q3 was £66.13m, 16% ahead of last year. Year-to-date revenue was £181.79m, 15% ahead of last year. Its shares rose 12.32% to 772.75p.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) said management expects that this year's financial performance will be below that previously envisaged. Its shares fell 22.88% to 14.75p.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Rolls-Royce (RR.) and Hispano-Suiza (Safran) have signed a final agreement to create a jointly-owned company that will design, develop, produce and support accessory drive train transmissions (ADT) for all of Rolls-Royce's future civil aircraft engines. Rolls' shares fell 0.84% to 794.75p.

Pearson (PSON) is reiterating its guidance for this year with adjusted earnings per share expected to be 62p-67p in 2014. Overall, the company says it is performing well competitively through a period of change and in difficult markets. Its shares fell 2.1% to 1144.5p.

Pets At Home (PETS), up 2.79% to 176.8p, said positive momentum across the business gives the company further confidence in its ability to deliver on our expectations for the full financial year.


By StockMarketWire | 24/10/2014 - 06:25

The headline index is tipped to fall on the open this morning, according to financial websites, ahead of today’s UK GDP data and on news that ebola has hit New York, with the Asian markets apparently shrugging off the news as the Nikkei edges higher in early trading…

US & ASIA

In the US last night, the Dow gained 217 points to 16,678, the Nasdaq rose 70 points to 4,453 and the S&P 500 traded up 24 points to 1,951.

In Asia today, the Nikkei was recently up 135 points at 15,275, while the Hang Seng had fallen around 33 points at 23,300.

WTI crude oil traded at $81.65 a barrel and Brent at $86.41.

Gold settled at $1,230 an ounce.

LONDON MARKETS

In the corporate diary today, interim results are due from Magnit Ojsc and Shire, while trading statements are expected from Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Ladbrokes, Spectris and Vesuvius.

GCP Student Living, Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Greenko Group, Go-Ahead Group, Hargreaves Lansdown, Immedia Group, Oil & Gas Development Co host their AGMs.