London open: FTSE 100 at four-month low as ARM and BP fall

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - ARM, BP (LSE: BP.L - news) , Ocado fall as annual results disappoint
- FTSE 100 at lowest since mid-October
- Wall Street suffers worst drop since June 2013

techMARK 2,735.92 -1.12%
FTSE 100 6,422.52 -0.67%
FTSE 250 15,450.97 -0.69%

UK stocks fell to their lowest levels in nearly four months on Tuesday morning (Frankfurt: TDM.F - news) as concerns about slowing global economic growth and disappointing corporate results weighed heavily on sentiment.

ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) , BP and Ocado were among the worst performers early on in London as investors reacted to their full-year figures.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.7% lower at 6,423 this morning; it has not closed below this level since October 9th, when it finished at 6,337.91.

The downwards pressure followed steep falls overnight on Wall Street with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average ending with their worst losses since June 2013.

The indices declined 2.1% and 2.3%, respectively, after data yesterday showed that manufacturing activity in the States slowed considerably in January due to the severe winter weather across many regions.

Plummeting temperatures were also to blame for sharp drops in car sales reported by many of the nation's big auto companies yesterday.

Market sentiment has been fragile over recent weeks due to heightened fears concerning emerging-market volatility, the withdrawal of stimulus by the Federal Reserve, a slowdown in growth in China and weakness in corporate earnings.

However, Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari said "these are simply being used as an excuse for investors to allow for the significant correction that many investors have been calling for, for a number of months now".

Traders will also be showing nerves ahead of a key policy meeting at the European Central Bank later on Thursday and the all-important US jobs report due Friday.

ARM, BP and Ocado provide a drag

Chip designer ARM Holdings dropped sharply despite meeting expectations with its fourth-quarter results, which saw adjusted profits rise 19% as strong licence sales offset slower growth in royalties. Profits, however, fell 79% when including an exceptional charge.

Oil major BP was lower after it reported a weaker bottom line for the fourth quarter, leading to a steep drop in underlying profits for 2013. The company also warned that underlying production in 2014 would be lower than last year.

Annual losses at online grocery group Ocado widened significantly last year despite decent top-line growth as costs and expenses soared. Shares were also down this morning after the news that the group's co-founder and current Commercial Director, Jason Gissing, is to retire.

Morrison, which last year signed a 25-year agreement with Ocado to develop its own online shopping service, was trading lower in sympathy.

BG Group (LSE: BG.L - news) was flat despite increasing fourth-quarter revenue and other operating income by 16% as it partly offset declines in Egypt and lower activity in the US by new developments coming onstream.

TalkTalk gained this morning after third-quarter revenue rose 5.1% as the telecoms company secured new TV and mobile phone customers.


FTSE 100 - Risers
Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE - news) (J) (SBRY) 354.10p +2.49%
Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF - news) (ADN) 380.50p +1.01%
Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF.L - news) (ABF) 2,709.00p +0.86%
Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) (AAL) 1,405.00p +0.57%
Prudential (Frankfurt: PRU.F - news) (PRU) 1,209.00p +0.42%
Standard Chartered (HKSE: 2888.HK - news) (STAN) 1,230.50p +0.24%
HSBC Holdings (HKSE: 0005.HK - news) (HSBA) 622.80p +0.21%
SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE - news) (SSE (LSE: SSE.L - news) ) 1,333.00p +0.08%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
ARM Holdings (ARM) 891.50p -4.14%
Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT.L - news) (AHT) 763.50p -2.86%
Melrose Industries (Other OTC: MLSPF - news) (MRO) 294.80p -2.61%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 405.20p -2.22%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,366.00p -2.00%
GKN (Berlin: GKN.BE - news) (GKN (LSE: GKN.L - news) ) 385.30p -1.98%
BAE Systems (LSE: BA.L - news) (BA.) 416.40p -1.75%
CRH (CRH (Irish: CRG.IR - news) ) 1,538.00p -1.73%
ITV (Frankfurt: IJ7.F - news) (ITV (LSE: ITV.L - news) ) 192.10p -1.64%
Meggitt (Frankfurt: MGI.F - news) (MGGT) 505.50p -1.46%

FTSE 250 - Risers
Premier Oil (LSE: PMO.L - news) (PMO) 278.40p +3.84%
Victrex (VCT) 1,810.00p +2.61%
BBA Aviation (LSE: BBA.L - news) (BBA) 320.60p +2.43%
Alent (LSE: ALNT.L - news) (ALNT) 311.90p +1.50%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 314.10p +1.22%
Berendsen (LSE: BRSN.L - news) (BRSN) 919.00p +0.60%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 317.80p +0.60%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ) (PHNX) 734.00p +0.55%
Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.L - news) (FDSA) 2,289.00p +0.39%
Entertainment One Limited (LSE: ETO.L - news) (ETO) 311.00p +0.32%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Electrocomponents (Frankfurt: ECN.F - news) (ECM) 252.00p -5.01%
Interserve (Frankfurt: I5S.F - news) (IRV) 576.50p -4.55%
African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L - news) (ABG) 222.90p -3.38%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 164.60p -3.35%
Ocado Group (Other OTC: OCDGF - news) (OCDO) 506.00p -3.34%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 285.10p -2.86%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 44.87p -2.75%
Supergroup (Frankfurt: 49S.F - news) (SGP) 1,450.00p -2.62%
Dixons Retail (Other OTC: DSITF - news) (DXNS) 42.04p -2.41%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,486.00p -2.40%

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