London midday: Stocks edge lower as investors digest data, earnings


LONDON (ShareCast) - - Chinese, UK and German data disappoints
- UK corporate updates come in mixed
- US data, earnings in focus this afternoon

techMARK 2,644.12 +0.06%
FTSE 100 6,577.20 -0.10%
FTSE 250 15,693.09 -0.06%

UK stocks were trading with small losses on Tuesday on a busy day for economic data and corporate news across the globe, with analysts citing a lack of catalysts to push markets higher.

Concerns about slowing growth in China, a fall in UK retail sales and a worse-than-expected German ZEW sentiment survey were dampening sentiment this morning.

Aggreko (LSE: AGK.L - news) , GKN (LSE: GKN.L - news) and Debenhams (Other OTC: DBHSY - news) were all making gains this morning after upbeat trading statements, while SABMiller (LSE: SAB.L - news) , Diageo (LSE: DGE.L - news) and Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) all fell.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.1% lower at 6,577 by midday, pulling back after a late rally pushed the index higher on Monday afternoon.

"Yesterday's move higher and strong finish in the US will have caught out a few overeager bears, but it will take time to recover risk appetite and we are still lacking any major catalysts to encourage investors back into the market," said Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst at IG (LSE: IGG.L - news) .

A measure of new credit in China declined by almost a fifth in March, while the growth in money supply slowed to its lowest rate since 2001, figures from the People's Bank of China showed today.

The British Retail Consortium revealed that UK retail sales fell at an annual rate of 1.7% on a like-for-like basis in March, mainly due to the timing of Easter which weighed on sales of household accessories and furniture. Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics said the annual rate of UK consumer price inflation slowed to 1.6% in March from 1.7% the month before, as widely expected by analysts.

Germany investor confidence as measured by the ZEW Center for European Economic Research fell for the fourth straight month in April. The index of economic expectations fell from 46.6 to 43.2, worse than consensus estimates.

Over in the US later, the first-quarter reporting season gets into full swing with results from Wall Street heavyweights Intel (Berlin: INL.BE - news) , Yahoo (TLO: YA-U.TI - news) !, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) due out today. These follow Citigroup (NYSE: C - news) , which impressed the market with its forecast-beating results on Monday.

Meanwhile, inflation data and comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will also be in focus this afternoon.


Temporary power generator Aggreko was leading the risers this morning after it reported an "encouraging" start to the year with underlying revenues up 5% in the first three months.

Engineer GKN gained despite reporting mixed markets in the first quarter, with a thrusting commercial aerospace market making up for a military aerospace sector stuck in reverse gear.

High Street department store Debenhams rose after maintaining its interim dividend at 1p per share despite profits falling by a quarter in the first half. The profit decline, however, was in line with company guidance.


Drinks giant SABMiller underwhelmed by saying that full-year beer sales met expectations despite challenging conditions in its European markets. Fourth-quarter net producer revenue at the world's second biggest brewer grew by 2% and by 3% for the full-year.

Sector peer Diageo was also lower after offering £1.1bn to take a majority stake in Indian alcoholic beverages group United Spirits Limited (BSE: UNITDSPR.BO - news) (USL). The deal, which will lift its interest from 28.78% to 54.78%, values the stake at 38 times USL's operating profits.

Miner Rio Tinto fell despite saying it started the new financial year strongly with record first-quarter iron ore production and shipments, though production eased when compared with the end of last year.

Security (LSE: SRG.L - news) solutions group G4S (LSE: GFS.L - news) was trading in the red after the stock was downgraded from 'hold' to 'sell' by Deutsche Bank (Xetra: DBK.DE - news) . G4S has come under fire from shareholders after the security company announced a major pay rise for its new Chief Executive amid a series of scandals.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Royal Mail (Other OTC: ROYMF - news) (RMG (Brussels: ROU.BR - news) ) 502.00p +2.03%
Aggreko (Dusseldorf: 4A4A.DU - news) (AGK) 1,540.00p +1.99%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 286.30p +1.85%
National Grid (LSE: NG.L - news) (NG.) 827.00p +1.66%
Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV.L - news) (BDEV) 376.50p +1.35%
SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE - news) (SSE (LSE: SSE.L - news) ) 1,488.00p +1.29%
GKN (Berlin: GKN.BE - news) (GKN) 378.50p +1.20%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 762.50p +1.19%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 886.50p +1.08%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,885.00p +1.08%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
G4S (Copenhagen: G4S.CO - news) (GFS) 240.70p -2.94%
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) (ARM) 937.50p -1.78%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,350.00p -1.70%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,614.00p -1.59%
Mondi (Frankfurt: KYC.F - news) (MNDI) 974.50p -1.57%
Rexam (Frankfurt: RXM1.F - news) (REX) 485.90p -1.54%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 71.47p -1.53%
ITV (Frankfurt: IJ7.F - news) (ITV (LSE: ITV.L - news) ) 174.70p -1.52%
SABMiller (Berlin: BRW1.BE - news) (SAB) 3,078.00p -1.47%
Fresnillo (Berlin: FNL.BE - news) (FRES) 919.50p -1.39%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Centamin (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ) (CEY) 54.05p +5.46% Group (MONY) 169.90p +4.94%
BTG (LSE: BTG.L - news) (BTG (Other OTC: BTGGF - news) ) 517.50p +4.23%
Debenhams (Frankfurt: D2T.F - news) (DEB) 80.50p +3.80%
Greencore Group (LSE: GNC.L - news) (GNC) 248.50p +2.43%
Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.L - news) (FDSA) 2,606.00p +2.32%
Perform Group (Frankfurt: 8PG.F - news) (PER) 243.30p +2.27%
Supergroup (Frankfurt: 49S.F - news) (SGP) 1,441.00p +2.13%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 339.70p +2.04%
Rathbone Brothers (LSE: RAT.L - news) (RAT) 1,930.00p +1.85%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Intu Properties (Other OTC: CCRGF - news) (INTU (LSE: INTU.L - news) ) 281.10p -3.34%
Tullett Prebon (LSE: TLPR.L - news) (TLPR) 294.20p -3.00%
CSR (Frankfurt: GQY.F - news) (CSR (LSE: CSR.L - news) ) 634.50p -2.98%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 295.10p -2.80%
Inchcape (INCH) 625.00p -2.65%
Elementis (ELM) 278.60p -2.45%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 192.10p -2.44%
Ocado Group (Other OTC: OCDGF - news) (OCDO) 341.30p -2.40%
Polymetal International (POLY) 628.50p -1.95%
Countrywide (LSE: CWD.L - news) (CWD) 593.50p -1.90%


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