London open: Tech stocks drag UK markets lower after Nasdaq sell-off

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LONDON (ShareCast) - - US, Asian weakness flows into UK stocks
- Tech stocks hit hard in early trading
- Supermarkets edge higher early on

techMARK 2,679.00 -1.49%
FTSE 100 6,594.42 -0.72%
FTSE 250 15,946.60 -1.25%

There were just a handful of risers on the FTSE 100 on Friday morning as stocks dropped sharply, tracking a dramatic sell-off on US and Asian equity indices overnight.

The FTSE 100 was 0.7% lower at 6,594 in early trading.

Following the trend seen on Wall Street last night where the Nasdaq dropped 3.1%, technology, software and internet stocks were among the worst performers in London this morning, along with investment trusts focused on those sectors.

The Nasdaq actually suffered its worst single-day percentage loss since late 2011 and fell to its lowest level since early February as investors continued to dump stocks that have performed well in recent months, raising concerns with steep valuations.

"It would appear the sell-off in high-growth stocks is far from over," said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari, commenting on the falls on US markets on Thursday.

"To be honest, it's probably about time that investors got realistic about the valuations of certain stocks. To some extent, current valuations had priced in either looser monetary policy from some major central banks than is being seen or a superior economic performance," he said.

There are few high-impact data releases scheduled for Friday's session, though the producer price index readings and University of Michigan confidence figures will be in focus for US markets later on.

The latest quarterly results from JP Morgan (Other OTC: JPYYL - news) and Wells Fargo (Berlin: NWT.BE - news) , due out this afternoon, are also keenly awaited by investors.

There are also worries that the US corporate results season will be rather poor. In that same vein, UBS (Xetra: UB0BL6 - news) said today that there is a 'dark side' to the anticipated 'boom' in capital expenditures in the US. "It impacts the cost structure of companies, hence margins, as well as cash flow."

Tech stocks provide a drag

Chip groups ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) and Imagination Technologies (Other OTC: IGNMF - news) were among the worst performing stocks on the FTSE 350 early on, with sentiment dampened by the Nasdaq sell-off in the US on Thursday evening. Software (Xetra: 330400 - news) firm Sage Group (LSE: SGE.L - news) was also under the weather, along with online fashion retailer N Brown (LSE: BWNG.L - news) .

Global technology investment trust Polar Capital Technology Trust was also a heavy faller today, along with biotech-focused Worldwide Healthcare Trust and tech-focused Herald Investment Trust.

Supermarket stocks were leading the upside on the FTSE 100 as cyclicals hold up well amid the wider market weakness. Tesco (Xetra: TCO.DE - news) inched higher on reports that it is planning on launching a High Street takeaway chain to be focused on the London market. WM Morrison and Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE - news) were also higher.

The retail sector was also focusing on results out from sector stalwart John Lewis Partnership which reported 15.7% sales growth in the week ended April 5th, with its upmarket grocery division Waitrose delivering growth of nearly 20%.

Mobile telecoms group Vodafone fell after saying it has taken full ownership of its Indian arm Vodafone India in two deals costing a total of £1bn. Vodafone said it had bought the remaining 10.97% of Vodafone India Limited (VIL) from Piramal Enterprises.

JP Morgan has raised its price target on Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF - news) to 1,030p from 965p, though the stock was slightly lower this morning.


FTSE 100 - Risers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 200.20p +1.47%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 311.30p +0.55%
Centrica (Frankfurt: CENB.F - news) (CNA (SES: E2:5GC.SI - news) ) 335.10p +0.42%
HSBC Holdings (HKSE: 0005.HK - news) (HSBA) 621.30p +0.42%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 278.40p +0.40%
BT Group (LSE: BT-A.L - news) (BT.A) 361.30p +0.39%
Tesco (Frankfurt: TS3.F - news) (TSCO) 284.20p +0.05%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Ashtead Group (LSE: AHT.L - news) (AHT) 895.00p -3.09%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 973.50p -3.04%
Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV.L - news) (BDEV) 384.20p -2.78%
Sage Group (SGE) 388.80p -2.56%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,308.00p -2.53%
Weir Group (Frankfurt: 42W.F - news) (WEIR) 2,504.00p -2.45%
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL.L - news) (HL.) 1,293.00p -2.34%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,037.00p -2.17%
Aggreko (Dusseldorf: 4A4A.DU - news) (AGK) 1,500.00p -2.15%
Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT.L - news) (JMAT) 3,167.00p -2.07%

FTSE 250 - Risers
esure Group (ESUR) 247.80p +1.18%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,209.00p +0.92%
KCOM Group (LSE: KCOM.L - news) (KCOM) 100.10p +0.60%
Hansteen Holdings (LSE: HSTN.L - news) (HSTN) 109.70p +0.46%
Genus (GNS) 943.50p +0.37%
BH Macro Ltd (Other OTC: BHMDF - news) . EUR Shares (BHME) € 19.10 +0.32%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) ) (PHNX) 639.00p +0.31%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,154.00p +0.17%
F&C Asset (FCAM) 119.60p +0.17%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 626.00p +0.16%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 202.60p -4.48%
Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT) 434.20p -4.15%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 1,220.00p -4.09%
Pace (PIC) 418.20p -3.99%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 316.30p -3.66%
Laird (LRD) 294.10p -3.57%
Supergroup (Frankfurt: 49S.F - news) (SGP) 1,478.00p -3.34%
Countrywide (LSE: CWD.L - news) (CWD) 619.50p -3.20%
Petra Diamonds Ltd (LSE: PDL.L - news) .(DI) (PDL) 146.60p -3.11%
Spirent Communications (Other OTC: SPMYY - news) (SPT (Taiwan OTC: 8431.TWO - news) ) 89.60p -3.08%

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