FTSE dips on property after UK output data disappoints
Equities in London retreated mildly to midday after UK production data disappointed, while crude-oil prices softened on expectations output from Canada would resume higher following plant closures due to wildfires. Commercial property and financials ebbed.
Pole-position was held by TUI (TUI), down 2.25% to 1044p, as it booked an H1 EBITA loss of 288.3m euros, from a loss of 368.5m euros. Its turnover fell. Banks were notable losers after RBS (RBS), down 2.02% to 210.85p, and Standard Chartered (STAN), lower 1.62% to 487.9p. Barclays (BARC), Lloyds (LLOY) and HSBC (HSBA) fell 1.09%-1.21%.
To midday, FTSE 100 was down 15.63 points, or 0.25%, to 6141.02. FTSE 250 was lower 20.79, or 0.12%, to 16,703.6. At 11.33am, WTI crude was down at USD44.29/bbl and Brent was lower at USD45.32/bbl. Gold slipped to USD1273/oz. Europe was firmly lower. Traders are looking to the US Federal Budget Balance tonight.
Commercial property titans were southbound. Land Securities (LAND) faded 1.74% to 1158.5p, while British Land (BLND), lower 1.32% to 727.25p, and Intu (INTU), off 1.43% to 292.85p, followed. House builders saw minor falls. Barratt (BDEV), down 0.14% to 539.25p, is confident of achieving the expected improvement in FY performance as market conditions remain strong.
Fallers outnumbered risers 62 to 38, with 18 down by 1% or more. Among those lower were supermarkets, utilities and insurers, alongside several leisure outfits. Sainsbury (SBRY) dropped 0.87% to 262.3p, United Utilities (UU.) ebbed 0.76% to 947.75p and Prudential (PRU) lost 1.03% to 1296.5p. Experian (EXPN) shed 1.61% to 1249.5p as FY revenue dropped 4%.
To the somewhat limited upside, China-sensitive miners ruled the roost, coming in for attention from value buyers. Anglo American (AAL) added 4.46% to 611.9p, while Randgold (RRS) firmed 3.18% to 6077.5p. More metals burrowers followed. Thereafter were several pharmas after Shire (SHP), up 0.87% to 4137.5p, and oilies behind Shell (RDSA), ahead 0.36% to 1725.75p.
Compass (CPG), up 0.44% to 1267.5p, has recorded a a strong H1 performance with both revenues and underlying operating profit rising.
MX Oil (MXO), down 36.36% to 0.53p, cannot assign its 55% working interest in three of four land contract areas (LCA), onshore Mexico, to local partner Geo Estratos. Geo does not have the necessary funds. MXO was also disappointed the Tecolutla LCA has proved to be less attractive than first thought. It is not to proceeding with the Mexico licences at this time.
Atlas African Industries (AAI), down 25.81% to 0.23p, said that on May 10 the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority removed USD2.4m from its bank account over a tax claim. Atlas said it will take all available steps to see the funds returned, and believes the withdrawal to be unlawful.
Pipehawk (PIP) subsidiary QM Systems has been awarded further business totalling over GBP400,000. This follows the successful completion of QM's first large-scale project with Mann and Hummel (UK) Ltd. Pipehawk's shares rose 37.5% to 4.13p.
Hague and London Oil (HNL), down 23.88% to 6.38p, has confirmed a proposed portfolio restructuring and strategic repositioning towards lower-risk opportunities, whilst retaining exposure to higher risk exploration.
UK's industrial production rose 0.3% in March, having fallen 0.2% in February, Office for National Statistics showed. A rise of 0.7% was expected by the market. Meantime, UK manufacturing production improved 0.1% in March, which came after a 1.1% slide in February. A rise of 0.3% had been anticipated.
MTI Wireless Edge (MWE), down 13.48% to 19.25p, is confident in the outcome for its FY, with Q1 revenue soaring 48% on the year to USD5.25m thanks to the acquisition of Mottech. However, MWE's antenna business saw turnover down 34%, mainly due to de-stocking by a key customer. It sees Q2 revenues from this customer returning to normal.
Xtract (XTR), up 5.56% to 0.19p, said an independent technical report on the mineral resources at the Fair Bride gold deposit, Mozambique, confirmed the resource has risen 36% to 1.257Moz at a cut-off of 1g/t.
Taptica International (TAP), up 5.88% to 81p, anticipates its FY EBITDA to be materially ahead of market expectations. It also foresees growth in FY revenues of more than 45% in 2016, in line with market expectations.
Sound Energy (SOU), up 4.76% to 16.5p, has received the final Badile drilling permission from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (UNMIG). This positions the company to fulfil its plan of drilling the Badile prospect during 2016.
William Hill (WMH), down 4.56% to 309.5p, said trading in the 17 weeks to April 26 remains in line with previous FY operating profit guidance of GBP260-GBP280m, subject to normalised gross win margins. Group net revenue was down 3%.
Savills (SVS), up 2.06% to 766.5p, said although certain markets are being affected by the forthcoming EU referendum and US Election, its FY expectations remain unchanged. Andrews Sykes Group (ASY), up 5.88% to 315p, said FY operating profits rose to GBP13.2m, up from GBP11.3m last time. Revenue from continuing operations rose to GBP60.1m, from GBP56.4m.
Centaur Media (CAU), down 1.49% to 49.5p, said its directors expect FY trading to be in line with market forecasts. Revenue growth in the first four months of the year was 5%. National Express (NEX), down 0.78% to 331.1p, has made a strong start to the year and remains on target to deliver its profit expectation and free cash flow and leverage targets for the year.
Other stocks in the news included Vertu Motors (VTU), Cape (CIU), redT energy (RED), Cape (CIU), Tengri Resources (TEN), TT Electronics (TTG), Wood Group (WG.), C&C (CCR), Novae (NVA), Renishaw (RSW), Segro (SGRO), Future (FUTR), Datatec (DTC), e-Therapeutics (ETX), John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), Medaphor (MED), JRP Group (JRP), Melrose Industries (MRO), Nighthawk Energy (HAWK), Versarien (VRS) and Heathrow (88BX).