London midday: Miners pull UK markets lower, but Smith & Nephew rises


LONDON (ShareCast) - - Mining (LSE: MIR.L - news) stocks lower on iron ore, China concerns
- Fenner (LSE: FENR.L - news) issues profit warning
- M&A continues to boost Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN.L - news)

techMARK 2,820.23 +0.39%
FTSE 100 6,860.62 -0.16%
FTSE 250 16,039.31 +0.53%

Weakness in the mining sector dragged the UK stock market from a two-week high on Friday, despite M&A speculation boosting the share prices of Smith & Nephew and Salamander Energy (Other OTC: SALDF - news) .

Mining stocks were trading firmly in the red as iron ore prices were headed for their sixth consecutive monthly decline, the longest losing streak on record. Meanwhile, concerns about a slowdown in China were also having an impact on stocks, as well as a profit warning from polymer products group Fenner, which makes conveyor belts for the mining industry.

"[Chinese] government figures indicated manufacturing growth was weakening, contradicting recent signs of improvement in the economy and providing an excuse for some selling in raw materials," said Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG (LSE: IGG.L - news) .

The FTSE 100 was down 0.2% at 6,861 by midday after hitting 6,871.29 on Thursday, its highest close since May 14th when it reached a new 14-year high of 6,878.49.

Investors were also focusing on a batch of mixed economic data from across the globe, including an improvement in consumer confidence in the UK, weak industrial production figures and stronger-than-expected inflation in Japan, and an unexpected dip in retail sales in Germany.

Miners weigh on markets, Fenner plummets

Rising iron ore supplies from Australia and Brazil have prompted a 9% fall in prices this month, with the value of the commodity having now fallen every month since December. This is the longest string of monthly losses since data from The Steel Index Ltd began in November 2008, according to Bloomberg.

Diversified miners Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) , BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL - news) and Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) were among the worst performers on the FTSE 100, with concerns over China also dampening sentiment.

In another hit to sentiment in the mining industry, Fenner issued a profit warning, causing shares to sink sharply. The group said annual profits would be 10-15% below market expectations on the back of weakness in the US coal industry, prompting analysts at Numis Securities to downgrade the stock from 'add' to 'hold'.

Meanwhile, solid fuel supplier and logistics group Hargreaves Services (Frankfurt: A0HMDY - news) also fell after saying results from its Production Division will be below expectations this year due to "challenging trading conditions" in coke markets and delays.

Medical device maker Smith & Nephew was on the rise as bid speculation continued to drive the stock higher. While US peer Stryker (Berlin: SYK.BE - news) was forced to publicly deny reports that it was working on a bid for the company, its boss yesterday confirmed in an interview that the company had in fact been in the early stages of considering a transaction but was not ready to make an offer. UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) this morning added the stock to its 'M&A Watch List'.

GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF - news) was fluctuating between gains and losses on rumours that it has approached a number of private equity firms to gauge the interest for a range of its older drugs as it attempts to refresh its portfolio.

AIM-listed oil explorer Petroceltic was trading lower after giving investors a trio of "disappointing" updates from its international drilling programme. Meanwhile, sector peer Salamander Energy surged on reports that Cia Espanola de Petroleos SAU is looking to buy to company for €700m.

DIY retailer Kingfisher (LSE: KGF.L - news) was continuing to fall after an underwhelming first-quarter statement yesterday as Barclays Capital cut the shares to 'equal weight' and trimmed its target price.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,055.00p +2.53%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,390.00p +1.83%
Admiral Group (LSE: ADM.L - news) (ADM) 1,454.00p +1.82%
Hammerson (HMSO) 601.00p +1.18%
Whitbread (Frankfurt: WHF4.F - news) (WTB) 4,182.00p +1.06%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,340.00p +1.06%
Sports Direct International (Other OTC: SDISY - news) (SPD) 800.00p +0.88%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,071.00p +0.85%
Sage Group (LSE: SGE.L - news) (SGE) 415.10p +0.80%
St James's Place (STJ) 786.00p +0.77%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,104.50p -2.63%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,505.50p -2.56%
Fresnillo (Berlin: FNL.BE - news) (FRES) 814.00p -2.52%
BHP Billiton (BLT (Shenzhen: 300246.SZ - news) ) 1,904.00p -1.88%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 199.10p -1.53%
Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO.L - news) (ANTO) 795.50p -1.12%
Royal Mail (Other OTC: ROYMF - news) (RMG (Brussels: ROU.BR - news) ) 512.50p -1.06%
G4S (Copenhagen: G4S.CO - news) (GFS) 250.30p -1.03%
Kingfisher (Frankfurt: KFI1.F - news) (KGF) 393.10p -0.98%
Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV.L - news) (BDEV) 356.50p -0.94%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Ophir Energy (Other OTC: OPGYF - news) (OPHR) 266.50p +4.02%
Micro Focus International (LSE: MCRO.L - news) (MCRO) 843.00p +3.56%
CSR (Frankfurt: GQY.F - news) (CSR (LSE: CSR.L - news) ) 597.50p +3.55%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,178.00p +3.51%
Ocado Group (Other OTC: OCDGF - news) (OCDO) 385.20p +3.41%
Supergroup (Frankfurt: 49S.F - news) (SGP) 1,145.00p +3.25%
Xaar (XAR) 847.00p +3.17%
Afren (Berlin: A2J.BE - news) (AFR) 154.10p +3.15%
Rank Group (RNK) 160.80p +3.08%
Perform Group (Frankfurt: 8PG.F - news) (PER) 272.50p +2.83%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Fenner (FENR) 349.30p -10.37%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 376.80p -3.09%
Evraz (LSE: EVR.L - news) (EVR) 107.00p -2.01%
Drax Group (LSE: DRX.L - news) (DRX) 627.00p -1.49%
Vedanta Resources (Other OTC: VDNRF - news) (VED) 1,112.00p -1.33%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 318.90p -1.33%
Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE.L - news) (TATE) 693.50p -1.14%
Playtech (Frankfurt: PL8.F - news) (PTEC) 665.00p -1.12%
Ferrexpo (Frankfurt: FEX.F - news) (FXPO) 137.50p -1.08%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 318.50p -1.06%


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