London open: Stocks fall ahead of busy week for earnings

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The FTSE 100 opened slightly lower on Monday morning as investors turned cautious ahead of a busy week for corporate earnings across the globe.

Markets are in for a "bumpy ride" this week with nearly a third of S&P 500 companies set to report their quarterly earnings, according to Financial Sales Trader Lee Mumford from Spreadex.

"The majority reporting are those companies in the industrial sector which could weigh down markets as many price in a slowing sector," he said.

Traders are keeping their eyes peeled for earnings figures today from Halliburton, Texas Instruments (NasdaqGS: TXN - news) and McDonald's, followed by bellwethers Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) and Ford (NYSE: F - news) later this week.

Meanwhile, in Europe investors were focusing this morning on results from Swiss banking heavyweight UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) and Dutch electronics firm Philips (Amsterdam: PHIA.AS - news) with both stocks making gains after their results.

Markets in Asia were trading broadly higher overnight after Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a majority in the general elections in Japan. This is the first time in six years that the ruling party has had control over both the upper and lower houses of parliament.
 
"Given the nature of the victory, investors will now hold Mr Abe to his promises to deliver on the 'third arrow' of his promised reform programme to help revitalise the Japanese economy," said Senior Market Analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets.

"Any prospect that he might feel compelled to pull back on the promised labour market reforms could well see markets lose confidence in the wake of a fairly promising start, though it would appear that his weekend victory has been mostly priced in."

Glaxo falls ahead of H1 results

GlaxoSmithKline (Other OTC: GLAXF - news) was out of favour as the pharmaceuticals giant continues to feel the pressure from bribery and corruption allegations in China. The company, which has not admitted any wrongdoing, is due to present its interim results on Wednesday.

Financials were mixed early on with Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) , Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.L - news) , Lloyds and Standard Chartered (Other OTC: SCBFF - news) performing well, while Standard Life (LSE: SL.L - news) , Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF - news) and Admiral (LSE: ADM.L - news) in the red.

Precious metals peers Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF - news) and Randgold were in positive territory, continuing to recovery from a recent weakness as gold and silver prices rose strongly. Speculators in gold increased their net-long position by 56% to 55,535 futures and options during the week ended on July 16th, the highest in over six weeks, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

India-focused energy group Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR.L - news) was making gains after Citigroup (NYSE: C - news) upgraded the stock to 'buy' and raised its target price from 155p to 180p.

SOCO International (LSE: SIA.L - news) 's shares advanced after saying it encountered about 117 metres of net pay section in the H5 fault block of the Te Giac Trang oil field, offshore in the South China Sea.

Lighting company Dialight (LSE: DIA.L - news) reported a drop in underlying operating profit for the first half but the stock was higher after group revenue rose from £53.1m to £59.9m.


FTSE 100 (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,066.00p +3.60%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,662.00p +3.03%
ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) (ARM) 906.50p +1.00%
Barclays (BARC) 322.75p +0.86%
BG Group (LSE: BG.L - news) (BG.) 1,216.00p +0.79%
Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) (AAL) 1,389.00p +0.73%
William Hill (LSE: WMH.L - news) (WMH) 468.90p +0.67%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,302.00p +0.62%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,193.00p +0.60%
Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO.L - news) (ANTO) 851.00p +0.59%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
GKN (GKN (LSE: GKN.L - news) ) 337.90p -1.17%
Standard Life (SL.) 381.50p -0.91%
Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN.L - news) (SN.) 783.00p -0.89%
GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L - news) (GSK) 1,700.00p -0.87%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 721.50p -0.82%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,969.00p -0.71%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 192.50p -0.70%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,178.00p -0.69%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 410.60p -0.65%
Burberry Group (LSE: BRBY.L - news) (BRBY) 1,524.00p -0.65%

FTSE 250 (FTSE: ^FTMC - news) - Risers
Hochschild Mining (Other OTC: HCHDF - news) (HOC) 153.60p +4.14%
Polymetal International (Other OTC: POYYF - news) (POLY) 621.50p +4.10%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 565.00p +3.48%
African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L - news) (ABG) 110.10p +3.19%
Marston's (MARS) 157.50p +2.41%
Soco International (SIA (SES: E1:C6L.SI - news) ) 366.30p +2.06%
Chemring Group (LSE: CHG.L - news) (CHG) 304.30p +2.05%
Savills (SVS) 631.00p +1.94%
Kenmare Resources (LSE: KMR.L - news) (KMR) 25.66p +1.66%
NB Global Floating Rate Income Fund Ltd GBP (NBLS) 104.40p +1.66%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Bumi (BUMI) 240.00p -7.44%
Countrywide (CWD) 600.50p -2.12%
Evraz (EVR) 102.10p -1.83%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 237.40p -1.58%
Fenner (FENR) 339.40p -1.57%
Drax Group (LSE: DRX.L - news) (DRX) 643.50p -1.23%
Diploma (DPLM) 610.00p -1.21%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,069.00p -1.20%
KCOM Group (LSE: KCOM.L - news) (KCOM) 83.10p -1.07%
Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ.L - news) (KAZ) 255.60p -1.05%

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