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FTSE 100 lower at lunch unlike European counterparts

After five day's of gains London's FTSE 100 is lower amid new oil price weakness.
Dividends
Big cap London stocks bearish at lunch

LUNCH

Britain's blue chips stand out as being lower among European equities at lunch.

FTSE 100 is 21 points down at 6,844, while small cap shares are actually doing better. The FTSE AIM 100 is up 0.9% to 3,728, while the FTSEAIM All share is 0.14% higher at 778.020.

In European indices, France's CAC 40 is 33 ahead at 4,485 and the German DAX is over 75 higher.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC, says lower volumes over the summer months in the last few years has been a 'godsend' and cites the old adage: "Sell in May and Go Away”.

"Lower liquidity in the summer means there are fewer market participants with an opposing viewpoint to counteract sudden bursts of volatility. The volatility has often focused market attention on serious problems at hand."

But he adds: "The  summer of 2016 is not quite over but it’s already seen some substantial volatility. FTSE 100 trading volume in June surrounding the EU referendum blew out to £25.7bn whilst the political turmoil in its wake saw a volume of £20bn in July, substantially higher than a 12-month average of £16.7bn.

"As it stands, August looks like a substantial slowdown with a volume projection of about £15bn. A new Prime Minister and action from the Bank of England has calmed nerves and allowed a few much-deserved holidays to the South of France."

Among the top laggards on Footsie was financial and investment firm Old Mutual (LON:OML), which shed around 5% to 214.10p as the market failed to be impressed with half year results.

Challenger bank Aldermore (LON:ALD) posted a 45% leap in first-half underlying pretax profit, as it brushed aside any Brexit woes.

It said it would pass on the recent base rate cut to borrowers and savers but said it was not expected to be material to group’s net interest income, which was 3.6%.

In small caps a noteable riser was China Africa Resources (LON:CAF) up 105% to 5.13p although there was no news out from the mining group. It owns 100% of the zinc, lead, silver and vanadium deposit at Berg Aukas, near Grootfontein, Northern Namibia and currently has negative earnings.

On the flip side, Stratex Resources plc (LON:STI), the mine developer, lost over 10% to stand at 1.875p  as the market mulled over interim results and a production update  from its Altintepe gold mine in Turkey.

 

 

OPEN

FTSE 100 is down over 32 points at 6,833 as financial stocks and insurers took a hit.

In small caps, the picture was more mixed, with FTSE AIM 100  down  0.02% to 3,724, while FTSE AIM All share  added 0.04% to stand at  777.250.

It comes as the oil price eases, as new data showed  a build in crude stockpiles in the US. Brent crude is  0.88% lower at the time of writing - at US$44.18 a barrel.

Shares in Old Mutual (LON:OML) dropped 5.63% to 212.80p as it posted numbers six months to June 30 and said the macro-environment had been challenging.

The firm, which declared an interim divi of 2.67p, said pre-tax adjusted operating profit was £708mln, down 9% in constant currencies or down 22% in reported currency.

In small caps, Bezant Resources plc (LON:BZT) shed over 16% to 1.25p as it said  notice of a general meeting was sent to shareholders.

Meanwhile, Noricum Gold (LON: NMG) shed 8.82% to 0.16p despite it announcing " significant new copper and gold intersections from ongoing drilling at the Kvemo Bolnisi Gold & Copper project" - one of the targets at the 861 sq km Bolnisi project in the Republic of Georgia.

On the winning front, Cloudbuy (LON:CBUY) added over 7% to stand at 7.50p, while Energiser (LON:ENGI) was top London riser, adding over 27% to 1.75p.

 


The top-share index took a step back at the outset, due in part to a few big dividend payers trading ex-dividend.

Direct Line Insurance Group PLC (LON:DLG) and Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) are both more than 2% lower as they now trade without the right to receive recently announced dividends.

Elsewhere in the insurance sector, South African outfit Old Mutual PLC (LON:OML) was down 6% at 212.1p after a negative reaction to half-year results.

Greek bottlers, Coca-Cola HBC AG (LON:CCH), cheered the market with their interims.

“The business delivered robust revenue growth and significant margin expansion, driven by improved pricing and mix trends, good progress on operating costs and a favourable input cost environment,” said Dimitris Lois, chief executive.

The FTSE 100 index was down 53 at 6,814.


Preview

London’s FTSE 100 is expected to pull back at the start of Thursday’s trading, setting the benchmark to break a five day streak of gains.

It comes after weaker oil prices – Brent fell 2.5% to US$43.85 and WTU dropped 3% to US$41.50 - and thus energy stocks weighed on US equities.

The narrative in the oil market sounds a lot like a broken record, with rising inventories and a will-they-won’t-they talk over an OPEC freeze.

“US markets finished on the back foot yesterday after oil prices slid sharply after a surprise build in inventories saw the recent rebound go into reverse gear,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.

“With the latest OPEC data showing that Saudi Arabia posted record output in July it became clear that for all the chatter about a production freeze, and predictions of higher demand that any agreement would have to overcome significant hurdles from the main swing producers, which at this moment appears unlikely.”

The Dow Jones ended Wednesday 37 points, 0.2%, lower at 18,495 while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq lost 0.29% and 0.4% to close at 2,175 and 5,204 respectively.

In Asia equities traded was mixed. The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.10% to 3,021 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.51% to 22,605. Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.18% to 16,735.

In Australia, the ASX 200 fell 0.76% to 5,501.

London’s FTSE 100 is meanwhile predicted to open around 33 points lower, with IG Markets calling the benchmark at 6,825 to 6,830 about an hour before the start of Thursday’s trading.

 


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