StockMarketWire | 30/10/2014 - 15:02
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FTSE indices had turned south by midday as resources stocks resumed their downward bent, bringing three days of intra-day gains to an end. Wall St closed down after the US Federal Open Market Committee voted to end quantitative easing, but the US dollar rose.

Near noon, the FTSE 100 was down 66.95 points, or 1.04%, to 6386.92. FTSE 250 fell 46.58 points, or 0.31%, to 15,187.6. Last night, US FOMC voted to cut its QE programme to zero from Nov. 1, but said its federal funds rate would remain lower for a considerable time thereafter.

Miners were notably lower as metals prices eased on the back of the stronger greenback. Lonmin (LMI) fell 3.34% to 173.4p and Randgold Resources (RRS) eased 3.27% to 3889.5p. Energy stocks slid, too. Tullow Oil (TLW) shed 3.39% to 477.25p, while BG Group (BG.) lost 2.66% to 1016.75p.

Barclays (BARC) fell 0.5% to 219.4p on unveiling Q3 adjusted pretax profits of £3.7m, but investors focused on an extra £670m being earmarked for potential fines from a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) probe into rigging forex markets, and PPI mis-selling.

BT (BT.A) fell 3.09% to 363.9p despite above-forecast Q2 earnings. Investors eyed marketing and sports rights acquisition costs ahead. Meantime, Tesco (TSCO) fell 1.17% to 171.33p after yesterday's news the SFO is probing its accounting practices. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) slipped 1.7% to 2197.5p on news chairman Jorma Ollila is to step down, and despite robust Q3 numbers.

BIGGER MOVERS

Kurdistan oil explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) rose 8.44% to 69.13p. Investors are taking a delay to today's planned trading update to 13 November as a sign the company may get paid for its crude oil exports from the Shaikan field.

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has confirmed it is undertaking a marketing exercise with the aim of raising additional capital. The company issued the confirmation following recent online speculation about a potential fundraising. Its shares fell 10.54% to 11.63p.

Russian oil and gas play Urals Energy (UEN) advanced 18.75% to 4.75p on yesterday's news that CEO Alexei Maximov will step down Friday. Urals also said Leonid Dyachenko and Aleksey Ogarev intend to stand down as directors once replacements have been appointed.

ECONOMIC NEWS

German unemployment declined in October. The number of jobless people fell a seasonally adjusted 22,000 to 2.887m in October. A rise of 4000 was forecast. Germany's adjusted jobless rate remained flat at 6.7%.

Spain's gross domestic product grew 0.5% in Q3, after a rise of 0.6% in Q2. Meantime, Spain's flash consumer prices inflation fell 0.2% in October, from a decline of 0.3% in September.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Transport group National Express (NEX) added 3.38% to 243.15p after it said it was on track to meet profit expectations for the FY after a 15% increase in Q3 pretax profit.

Estate agency Countrywide (CWD) rose 1.25% to 456.35p as it revealed record FY results despite a slowing housing market. Q3 EBITDA improved 38% to £40.2m on the year.

Castleton Technology (CTP) has tapped investors for £5.5m to buy housing software supplier Documotive. Its shares rose 6.15% to 1.38p.

Care home and support provider CareTech (CTH) advanced 2.21% to 231p as the company confirmed trading would meet expectations this year.

Redde (REDD) gained 3.45% to 75p on a positive AGM statement. Profits in the three months to end-October have exceeded management expectations.


By StockMarketWire | 30/10/2014 - 08:40

FTSE indices rose for the third consecutive day in early deals with financial stocks the main cue in a session so far characterised by muted trade and limited gains. Wall St closed down after the US Federal Open Market Committee voted to end quantitative easing.

Just after the open, FTSE 100 was up 7.06 points, or 0.11%, to 6460.93. FTSE 250 rose 19.11 points, or 0.13%, to 15,253.2. Last night, US FOMC voted to cut its QE programme to zero from Nov. 1, but said its federal funds rate would remain lower for a 'considerable' time thereafter.

Among the blue-chip gainers were financials. Banks were on show with Barclays (BARC) up 1.95% to 224.8p. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) added 0.68% to 362.25p. Insurers figured. Legal & General (LGEN) rose 085% to 226.6p. Investment specialist Man Group (EMG) gained 0.5% to 120.1p, as did Schroders (SDR), up 0.58% to 2335.5p.

Pharmaceutical stocks popped higher. Shire (SHP), up 0.77% to 4106.5p, followed by Astrazeneca (AZN) and Glaxosmithkline (GSK). On the downside miners featured. Randgold Resources (RRS) lost 3.05% to 3898.5p, a string of sector pals in hot pursuit.

Meantime, BT Group (BT.A) fell 0.96% to 371.9p after posting ahead-of-expectations H1 results. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) rose just 0.04% to 2236.5p on naming its incoming chairman as Charles Holliday and issuing Q3 earnings figures.

LONDON HIGHLIGHTS

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has confirmed it is undertaking a marketing exercise with the aim of raising additional capital. The company issued the confirmation following recent online speculation about a potential fundraising. Its shares fell 21.15% to 10.25p.

Spirit Pub Company (SPRT), down 0.11% to 104.88p, said it remains in talks with Greene King (GNK), up 0.22% to 785.75p, about the terms of a possible offer. Greene King's put up or shut up offer deadline has been extended to Nov. 4.

Countrywide (CWD), up 3.86% to 468.1p, reported record Q3 profits and said it remained on track to deliver FY results in line with market expectations. Total income rose 22% to £188.4m and EBITDA rose 38% to £40.2m.

RPS Group (RPS) said on a constant currency basis it expects to deliver good profit growth for the full year. 'Year to date trading suggests we are on track to achieve market expectations,' the company said in a statement. Its shares rose 2.14% to 238.5p.

Millennium & Copthorne's (MLC) Q3 pretax profit rose 6.6% to £50.2m, from £47.1m a year earlier. However, on a nine-month basis pretax profit was down 6.1% to £108.6m. Forex continued to be an issue. The company's shares fell 0.4% to 564.25p.


By StockMarketWire | 30/10/2014 - 06:17

The headline index is tipped to open broadly flat this morning, according to financial websites, as the market tries to figure out how to respond to news out of the Fed last night, while Wall St closed marginally down and the Asian markets open mixed…

US & ASIA

In the US last night, the Dow fell 32 points to 16,974, the Nasdaq fell 15 points at 4,549 and the S&P 500 traded down 3 points to 1,982.

In Asia today, the Nikkei was recently up 129 points at 15,685 and the Hang Seng had fallen around 158 points at 23,666.

WTI crude oil traded at $82 a barrel and Brent at $87.

Gold settled at $1,212.8 an ounce.

LONDON MARKETS

In the corporate diary today, interim results are due from Megafon, Pharmstandard, Eurasia Drilling, X5 Retail Group, Samsung Electronics, BT Group, First Quantum Minerals, Kofax, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Royal Dutch Shell, Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Smith & Nephew. Trading statements are expected from Afren, Aviva, Barclays, Countrywide, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Henderson Group, Kazakhmys and RPS Group.

Atlantis Japan, Ashmore Group, Clinigen Group, Datang Intl Power Generation, Genesis Emerging Markets Fnd, Mnc Strategic Investments, Pacific Horizon Investment Trust and Redde host their AGMs.