London open: Stocks edge lower as investors continue to mull snap election
(ShareCast News) - London stocks edged lower in early trade, adding to losses from the previous session when the FTSE suffered its worst day since the Brexit vote after Prime Minister Theresa May announced plans for a snap general election on 8 June.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.2% to 7,131.02, while the pound was down 0.1% against the dollar at 1.2838 and flat versus the euro at 1.1966.
The House of Commons is due to vote on May's plan for an early election later on Wednesday, with a two-thirds majority approval needed.
CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson said: "Yesterday's surprise move by UK Prime Minister Theresa May has invited criticism in some parts, however given the narrowness of the Conservative majority and the refusal of a number of politicians to accept last year's referendum vote, the likelihood of further Brexit related flash points between now and April 2019 were always likely to be a clear and present danger to the success of the upcoming negotiations, as well as her room for manoeuvre.
"In calling a swift election between the French and German elections she will be hoping to take advantage of the weakness of her political opponents who are in disarray, as well as diluting the influence of the more extreme elements of her own party on the Brexit process."
In corporate news, Associated British Foods rallied after it lifted its dividend and said profits surged in the first half of the year as the sugar business benefited from higher prices and Primark opened 16 new clothes stores around the world.
Luxury fashion brand Burberry was in the red as it posted a drop in total underlying revenue in the second half as an "exceptional" performance in the UK was offset by efforts to improve brand positioning in the US and in the beauty business.
Outsourcing company Bunzl fell despite reporting a rise in first quarter revenue following new business wins and acquisitions.
Pest control and hygiene group Rentokil Initial declined despite posting a jump in first-quarter revenue and saying it expects its performance this year to be in line with expectations.
Property investment and development company Segro was little changed after saying it has had an "excellent start" to 2017, signing £16m of new headline rent.
Aveva ticked higher as the company said its full-year results will show a return to growth in revenue and profit.
Tesco edged up as it struck a deal to offload its opticians business to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum.
Card Factory was boosted by an upgrade to 'buy' by Liberum, but Paysafe fell after a downgrade from Macquarie.
There are no major UK data releases due.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,131.02 -0.23%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,303.90 0.03%
techMARK (TASX) 3,402.36 0.07%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,807.00p 3.27%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 228.10p 1.51%
Glencore (GLEN) 296.20p 1.51%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 8,525.00p 1.13%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,121.00p 0.99%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,031.00p 0.93%
Tesco (TSCO) 177.70p 0.85%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,073.00p 0.85%
Next (NXT) 4,220.00p 0.79%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,166.00p 0.75%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,630.00p -4.17%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,255.00p -1.56%
BP (BP.) 446.40p -1.37%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,022.50p -1.32%
Pearson (PSON) 608.00p -1.30%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,305.00p -1.12%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,101.50p -1.11%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 245.10p -0.93%
Smurfit Kappa Group (SKG) 2,007.00p -0.89%
Diageo (DGE) 2,226.00p -0.82%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Card Factory (CARD) 315.10p 4.23%
Cobham (COB) 123.30p 2.45%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 445.00p 1.90%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,616.00p 1.75%
Marshalls (MSLH) 368.80p 1.49%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 469.80p 1.25%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 277.80p 1.24%
Caledonia Investments (CLDN) 2,782.00p 1.20%
JRP Group (JRP) 122.90p 1.15%
ZPG Plc (ZPG) 374.10p 1.11%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Paysafe Group (PAYS) 448.10p -2.57%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 852.00p -1.50%
Vectura Group (VEC) 149.50p -1.39%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 439.00p -1.24%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 314.90p -1.16%
Templeton Emerging Markets Inv Trust (TEM) 646.00p -1.15%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 2,243.00p -1.15%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 215.70p -1.06%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 198.00p -1.05%
Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT) 905.50p -1.04%