Overview: the FTSE 100 is set to extend yesterday’s steep losses and shed a further 0.5% in early trade today following a weak performance in the US stock market where the Dow Jones average tanked 1.2% on Wednesday after the Commerce Department said home sales declined for the first time in five months, slipping 3.6% to 402,000, while an increase was expected. This delivered another blow to recovery hopes.
Other indexes also turned negative as S&P 500 was down 2% and the Nasdaq composite shed 2.7%.
Asian markets still were in bearish mood with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slumping 2.4% by midday and China’s Shanghai Composite Index declining 2.3%. Japan’s Nikkei hit three week lows, sliding below 10,000 on a stronger yen.
Oil prices were in decline following the losses in global stock markets. December Brent Crude moved down to US$75.63/barrel, while US light, sweet crude for December delivery retreated to US$77.18/barrel.
Metals prices showed slight improvement after posting big losses during this week. Gold returned to US$1,030/oz, while Silver added 9 cents to climb to US$16.22/oz. Platinum added $8, moving up to US$1,313/oz.
Base metals, however, continued their freefall. Copper declined to US$2.89/pound, Nickel barely hold on to US$8/pound, while Zinc was back to US$0.97/pound.
Investors will be waiting for the US third quarter GDP update, which is due today and is likely to set the direction for the markets for the rest of the week.
Morning news wrap
In the FTSE 100, copper miner Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) said production remained on track to hit the full year target of 315 kt copper cathode equivalent.
Bank Standard Life (LSE: SL) released an interim management statement for the nine months to 30 September, saying total assets under management at Standard Life Investments increased by £15.3 billion in the third quarter.
In the FTSE 250, specialty chemicals firm Croda (LSE: CRDA) said sales from continuing operations increased 1.1% in the third quarter to £238.1 million.
In the AIM, nickel and iron ore exploration junior Landore Resources (AIM: LND) announced a placing of 7.8 million shares at 14 pence per share representing 4.1% of its share capital to raise £1.1 million.
Specialty minerals exploration and development company Thor Mining (AIM: THR) released a quarterly operational report, saying it continued to focus on reducing capital and operating costs. The company’s cash position at the end of the quarter was A$0.7 million.
Philippines focused miner Metals Exploration (AIM: MML) said its financial or technical assistance agreement for the Runruno gold-molybdenum project on the island of Luzon in the Northern Philippines has been signed by the government, providing “a stable investment regime for project development and subsequent operation,” securing security of title for 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.
Western Australia operating Norseman Gold (AIM: NGL) has approved the commencement of the OK Decline, the third mine at its Norseman Gold Project.