London open: Heavyweight ex-divs weigh on FTSE
(ShareCast News) - London stocks fell on Thursday morning as a number of heavyweight income stocks went ex-dividend, while continued tensions over the US-North Korea situation continued to weigh on the mood.
After an hour of trading, the FTSE was down 46.18 or 0.6% to 7,451.88, with the FTSE 250 down 0.1% to just over 19,854.
The companies going ex-dividend today trimmed 41.3 points off the index, with names including Anglo American, AstraZeneca, Barclays, BT, GSK, Lloyds, Rio Tinto and Royal Dutch Shell.
Markets were largely flat otherwise, with the S&P down 0.04% overnight and losses in Asia were small.
"The calming influence on the markets was likely due to US Secretary of State Tillerson signalling military confrontation was not imminent," said Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank, with ex-Exxon Rex saying that "Americans should sleep well tonight, have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days" while on a plane post a tour of Southeast Asia.
Reid noted that Trump was also a bit more even tempered later on, saying via twitter that the "US nuclear arsenal is now far stronger than ever...but hopefully we will never have to use this power".
Analyst Mike Van Dulken at Accendo Markets said most safe havens assets remained on the front foot, "but this is not necessarily at the expense of all risk assets, with oil approaching is best levels for August following yesterday's US inventory data (big crude drawdown), Copper flat around recent 2yr highs and iron ore off its lows".
Data released overnight by RICS was weighing on housebuilding stocks, with the figures suggesting that declines are starting to spread beyond London as political uncertainty and tax changes weigh on the top end of the market.
"There is a chance the mood in the UK could improve dependant on the impending manufacturing and industrial production readings," said Connor Campbell at Spreadex.
Manufacturing is set to climb from -0.2% to 0.0%, with a similar jump from -0.1% to 0.1% in industrial production. "Not a spectacular recovery, but a recovery nonetheless," Campbell fell.
In company news, interim results from FTSE 100 listed drinks bottler Coca Cola Hellenic lifted its shares as they came in comfortably ahead of market expectations.
Travel operator TUI was flying slightly higher after reporting on a strong third quarter performance, with sales and profits taking off during the early summer months, although it left its full year targets unchanged.
Cineworld was up as interims were slightly above forecasts, with new openings on track and a strong second-half film slate underpinning full year expectations.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,449.56 -0.65%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,840.87 -0.17%
techMARK (TASX) 3,401.45 -0.36%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 2,569.00p 8.26%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 393.90p 1.39%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 275.00p 1.10%
BAE Systems (BA.) 587.00p 0.77%
Aviva (AV.) 529.00p 0.67%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,255.00p 0.64%
WPP (WPP) 1,571.00p 0.58%
Prudential (PRU) 1,852.00p 0.57%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,966.50p 0.54%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 933.50p 0.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BT Group (BT.A) 303.30p -3.19%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,276.00p -2.30%
Diageo (DGE) 2,485.50p -1.89%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,534.00p -1.81%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 65.72p -1.78%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,493.00p -1.70%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,101.00p -1.51%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,180.50p -1.47%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 192.10p -1.44%
Glencore (GLEN) 334.95p -1.43%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cineworld Group (CINE) 727.00p 3.49%
Evraz (EVR) 274.30p 3.39%
Greggs (GRG) 1,153.00p 3.22%
Savills (SVS) 940.00p 3.07%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 176.80p 2.08%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 225.00p 1.86%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,928.00p 1.74%
Amec Foster Wheeler (AMFW) 445.60p 1.67%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 613.00p 1.49%
Card Factory (CARD) 328.30p 1.26%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Hill & Smith Holdings (HILS) 1,372.00p -3.85%
Greene King (GNK) 671.50p -3.80%
Northgate (NTG) 431.00p -2.73%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,764.00p -2.11%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,598.00p -1.96%
PZ Cussons (PZC) 351.30p -1.79%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 97.05p -1.77%
IMI (IMI) 1,167.00p -1.77%
IWG (IWG) 294.60p -1.41%
SIG (SHI) 177.30p -1.39%