StockMarketWire | 01/10/2014 - 16:15
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FTSE indices were down midday with hefty falls in big-ticket supermarkets the result of investors unimpressed by updates from Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsbury (SBRY). Wall St and Asian markets closed down overnight.

Near noon, the FTSE 100 was down 24.95 points, or 0.38%, to 6597.77. FTSE 250 eased 34.17 points, or 0.22%, to 15,345.5. Asian markets have suffered from Hong Kong political protests. Global markets have been cautious about air strikes against terror group IS in Syria and Iraq.

Tesco (TSCO) said the Financial Conduct Authority has begun a full probe after its £250m overstatement of expected profits. Sainsbury (SBRY) said tough grocery market conditions meant it now expected H2 like-for-like sales to be similar on the year. Tesco fell 3.96% to 178.83p, while Sainsbury was slashed by 5.96% to 236.5p.

Resources stocks figured. Energy issues were led down by BG Group (BG.), off 3.31% to 1102.25p, which was buying equipment for a North Sea exploration well. Petrofac (PFC) fell 2.51% to 1011p. Miners were piloted south by Lonmin (LMI), off 4.28% to 177.85p.

Several financial stocks were off the south-bound pace, but others were on the up. Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) captained with 1.06% fall to 935p. Insurers, utility outfits and pharmaceutical stocks also featured on both sides of the FTSE ledger.

BIGGER MOVERS

Blinkx (BLNX) was confident about its prospects going forward after taking decisive steps to fortify its business model and realign its resources. It saw H1 2015 revenues of $102m-$104m, with H1 2015 adjusted EBITDA at approximately break-even. Its shares fell 16.31% to 29.5p.

MediaZest (MDZ) confirmed contract wins with revenues totalling about £0.62m. One contract, with a large multi-national company and partners, was expected to generate revenues of about £0.4m. It had potential to roll out across multiple UK locations and countries.

Ferrum Crescent (FCR) posted a FY pretax loss of $2.6m, from $1.9m a year ago. Ferrum was disappointed by AAI's failure to meet it payment schedule, but said it had been able to pursue other avenues for financing. Its shares fell 17.65% to 0.7p.

ECONOMIC NEWS

UK manufacturing expanded at its slowest rate in 17 months in September. The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 51.6, against a downwardly revised August print of 52.2. Expectations were for 52.6.

A reading above the 50 mark indicates growth, while one below indicates contraction. Euro zone's manufacturing growth slowed in September. Markit's final September manufacturing PMI printed at 50.3, from August's 50.7 and below expectations for a reading of 50.5.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Numis Corp (NUM) fell 9.83% to 239.63p despite saying FY revenues from core activities rose 19%. Its H2 performance 'did not match that of the same period last year, reflecting lower market volumes.'

St. Modwen Properties (SMP), up 2.52% to 376.25p, said all areas of the business were making excellent progress, supported by tangible regional UK growth. FY pretax profit would have increased beyond existing market consensus and was now seen materially ahead of 2013.

Shaft Sinkers (SHFT), down 3.9% to 9.25p, said Hillside International has agreed to expand the quantum of funds made immediately available to it from £3.5m to £5m. Shaft has also agreed a £3.0m bank guarantee facility in relation to its contract with TNK Kazchrome JSC.

Walker Greenbank (WGB), down 0.24% to 206p, has improved its H1 pretax profit to £2.3m, from £2.0m a year earlier. Revenue was £41.1m, from £39.1m. It proposed an interim dividend of 0.35p a share, up 25% on the year.


By StockMarketWire | 01/10/2014 - 08:40

FTSE indices fell on opening with supermarkets prominent after their prices were slashed by investors unimpressed by updates from Tesco (TSCO) and Sainsbury (SBRY). Wall St and Asian markets were down.

Near 8.30 a.m., FTSE 100 was down 15.7 points, or 0.24%, to 6607.02. FTSE 250 eased 18.97 points, or 0.12%, to 15,360.8. Asian markets have suffered from Hong Kong political protests, while global markets have been cautious since air strikes against terror group IS in Syria and Iraq began.

Tesco (TSCO) said the Financial Conduct Authority has begun a full probe after the £250m overstatement of expected profits. Sainsbury (SBRY) said tough grocery market conditions meant it now expected H2 like-for-like sales to be similar on the year. Tesco fell 2.01% to 182.45p, while Sainsbury eased 3.6% to 242.45p.

Resources stocks figured to the downside. Energy stocks were led down by BG Group (BG.), down 1.29% to 1125.25p, while miners were piloted by Fresnillo (FRES), down 0.99% to 752.5p. Financial stocks were captained by Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.), down 1.01% to 935.5p.

Otherwise some banks, insurers and pharmaceutical outfits were notable among the fallers, but others in their sectors were equally visible among the risers. This applied, too, to mining and energy stocks.

BIGGER MOVERS

Blinkx (BLNX) was confident about its prospects going forward after taking decisive steps to fortify its business model and realign its resources. It saw H1 2015 revenues of $102m-$104m, with H1 2015 adjusted EBITDA at approximately break-even. Its shares fell 16.65% to 29.38p.

Numis Corporation (NUM) fell 7.48% to 245.88p despite saying FY revenues from core activities rose 19%. However, its H2 performance 'did not match that of the same period last year, reflecting lower market volumes.'

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

St. Modwen Properties (SMP), up 3.16% to 378.6p, said all areas of the business were making excellent progress, supported by tangible regional UK growth. FY pretax profit would have increased beyond existing market consensus and was now seen materially ahead of 2013.

James Halstead (JHD), up 1.34% to 293.13p, has posted record FY flooring revenue, profit and dividends. Revenue rose 3% to £223.5m and pretax profit gained 3.1% to £41.8m.

Shaft Sinkers (SHFT), down 3.9% to 9.25p, said Hillside International has agreed to expand the quantum of funds made immediately available to it from £3.5m to £5m. Shaft has also agreed a £3.0m bank guarantee facility in relation to its contract with TNK Kazchrome JSC.

Walker Greenbank (WGB), down 0.73% to 205p, has improved its H1 pretax profit to £2.3m, from £2.0m a year earlier. Revenue was £41.1m, from £39.1m. It proposed an interim dividend of 0.35p a share, up 25% on the year.


By StockMarketWire | 01/10/2014 - 06:24

The headline index is tipped to edge down this morning, according to financial websites, with the bulls shrugging off yesterday’s better-than-expected UK economic growth figures as ongoing protests in Hong Kong remain the key focus for investors, while US markets slipped overnight...

US & ASIA

In the US last night, the Dow fell 28 points to 17,043, the Nasdaq slipped 13 points at 4,493 and the S&P 500 edged down 6 points to 1,972.

In Asia today, the Nikkei was recently down 27 points at 16,168 and the Hang Seng had fallen around 296 points at 22,933.

WTI crude oil traded at $91.45 a barrel and Brent at $94.99.

Gold settled at $1,206.7 an ounce.

LONDON MARKETS

In the corporate diary today, interim results are due from Walker Greenbank and final results are expected from James Halstead.