London midday: Stocks flat as markets digest mixed data


LONDON (ShareCast) - The UK stock market was flat on Tuesday morning, pausing for breath after hitting highs not seen in seven weeks, as investors reacted to a barrage of mixed economic data.

The UK annual consumer price index (CPI (Other OTC: CPICQ - news) ) hit a 14-month high of 2.9% in June, up from 2.7% in May. While this came in slightly below the 3.0% consensus forecast, it means that new Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will now have to write to the Chancellor to explain a rise in inflation (as is compulsory when the rate deviates by more than a percentage point from the 2.0% target).

Annual Eurozone CPI inflation meanwhile remained unchanged at 1.6% last month, as expected.

Surveys on investor sentiment published by the German Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) showed mixed readings: the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany fell from 38.5 to 36.3 in July, compared to market expectations of a rise to around 40; however, the Eurozone gauge increased from 30.6 to 32.8, ahead of the 31.8 estimate.

Meanwhile, new EU car sales in June fell 5.6% compared to a year as high unemployment and a weak economy hit demand, figures from the European Automobiles Association showed.

Stock futures Stateside were pointing to a flat start on Wall Street following another record close last night after Citigroup (NYSE: C - news) joined Wells Fargo (Other OTC: WFCNO - news) and JPMorgan to report earnings that beat analysts' forecasts.

The results pushed both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 to their highest-ever closing levels. US heavyweights Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) will be in focus today ahead of their results; CPI and industrial production figures are also due for release.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's semi-annual testimony to Congress on Wednesday and Thursday will also be closely watched for any indications of future monetary policy.

FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) : Miners rise strongly

Diversified mining group Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) was one the day's best performers after being able to work through a equipment issues and unseasonal wet weather in Australia to deliver record iron ore production in the first half.

Glencore Xstrata (Other OTC: GLCNF - news) rose after saying it had received a number of approaches to buy its interest in Peru's Las Bambas copper mine project as it started the sale process. Sector peers Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF - news) , ENRC, Randgold and Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) were also making gains.

One miner bucking the trend this morning was Vedanta with the stock flat after RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to 'underperform' and cut its target price from 1,200p to 1,100p.

DIY retailer Kingfisher (LSE: KGF.L - news) was also a high riser this morning after Nomura upgraded the stock from 'reduce' to 'neutral' on the back of its exposure to a UK housing recovery. Engineering (Milan: ENG.MI - news) support services group Babcock meanwhile was up after Panmure Gordon raised its rating to 'buy', saying it is "very well positioned" compared to outsourcing peers.

Food ingredients group Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE.L - news) was trading lower this morning after a profit warning from US sweetener and starches manufacturer Ingredion.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,005.00p +4.85%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,892.00p +3.05%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,378.00p +2.48%
G4S (GFS) 212.60p +2.46%
Kingfisher (KGF) 387.30p +2.19%
BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL - news) (BLT) 1,846.50p +2.16%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp (LSE: ENRC.L - news) . (ENRC) 209.70p +1.75%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,321.00p +1.58%
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) (ARM) 922.00p +1.54%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 264.85p +1.15%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
TUI Travel (LSE: TT.L - news) (TT (BSE: TTL.BO - news) .) 361.50p -4.01%
Standard Chartered (Other OTC: SCBFF - news) (STAN) 1,498.00p -3.14%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,270.00p -2.68%
William Hill (Other OTC: WIMHY - news) (WMH) 455.00p -2.05%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,161.00p -1.98%
Burberry Group (LSE: BRBY.L - news) (BRBY) 1,507.00p -1.95%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 268.70p -1.90%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 460.10p -1.90%
ITV (ITV (LSE: ITV.L - news) ) 158.40p -1.80%
BT Group (LSE: BT-A.L - news) (BT.A) 338.40p -1.63%

FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 538.50p +4.46%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 161.00p +4.07%
Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ.L - news) (KAZ) 254.20p +3.38%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 282.00p +3.26%
RPC Group (LSE: RPC.L - news) (RPC (NYSE: RES - news) ) 426.30p +2.53%
African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L - news) (ABG) 103.80p +1.96%
Lonmin (LMI) 289.10p +1.90%
Inchcape (INCH) 545.50p +1.68%
KCOM Group (LSE: KCOM.L - news) (KCOM) 83.40p +1.58%
Drax Group (LSE: DRX.L - news) (DRX) 614.00p +1.32%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hochschild Mining (Other OTC: HCHDF - news) (HOC) 136.60p -5.92%
Ocado Group (Other OTC: OCDGF - news) (OCDO) 315.20p -4.86%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 818.00p -3.93%
Kier Group (LSE: KIE.L - news) (KIE) 1,431.00p -3.70%
Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L - news) (ISAT) 677.00p -2.66%
Informa (INF) 490.20p -2.64%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 142.00p -2.54%
Bellway (BWY) 1,418.00p -2.54%
Oxford Instruments (LSE: OXIG.L - news) (OXIG) 1,333.00p -2.34%
Centamin (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ) (CEY) 36.63p -2.32%


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