London open: Stocks flat as investors eye retail sales
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were little changed in early trade as investors awaited the release of UK retail sales figures.
At 0825 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.1% to 7,270.85. Meanwhile, oil prices were steady, with West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude up 0.2% to $53.44 a barrel and $55.73, respectively.
Mike van Dulken at Accendo Markets said: "In focus today - another light one for macro data - will be UK retail sales growth, forecast to have rebounded to positive in January although the annual pace likely continued to slow from October's 10-year peak. This would add to hotter inflation data and slower wages growth earlier in the week, suggestive of a weaker GBP beginning to bite via higher import prices."
The retails sales data is due at 0930 GMT.
In corporate news, AstraZeneca edged higher after the pharmaceuticals giant reported positive results from its Phase III OLYMPIAD trial of its breast cancer treatment Lynparza (olaparib).
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels gained ground after it reported a dip in 2016 pre-tax profit but said group revenue per available room rose 6.6% to £76.71.
Segro rallied after its full-year earnings per share and net asset value came in ahead of analysts' expectations.
Paper and packaging company Mondi got a boost as JPMorgan Cazenove upgraded its stance on the stock to 'overweight' from 'neutral'.
On the downside, manufacturer Morgan Advanced Materials ticked lower after saying it will sell its Europe-based rotary transfer systems business to Moog, a US manufacturer of motion and fluid control systems, for about €40m on a cash and debt free basis.
Essentra slid after the plastic and fibre products manufacturer issued a profit warning for 2017.
Hansteen nudged lower as it announced it has made an offer for Industrial Multi Property Trust, valuing the group at £25.2m.
Satellite communications provider Inmarsat slumped as UBS downgraded the stock to 'sell' from 'neutral'.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,270.85 -0.10%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,748.93 0.23%
techMARK (TASX) 3,341.28 0.14%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,964.00p 2.72%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,872.00p 1.74%
Next (NXT) 3,902.00p 1.30%
Pearson (PSON) 667.00p 1.06%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 305.40p 0.89%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,562.00p 0.83%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 247.30p 0.69%
Schroders (SDR) 3,066.00p 0.69%
Standard Life (SL.) 369.90p 0.63%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 177.90p 0.57%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Chartered (STAN) 791.60p -2.05%
Barclays (BARC) 234.95p -1.28%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,604.00p -1.18%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,354.50p -1.10%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 841.50p -0.82%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,403.50p -0.74%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 689.00p -0.65%
BT Group (BT.A) 310.60p -0.61%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 242.40p -0.45%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,215.50p -0.45%
FTSE 250 - Risers
CLS Holdings (CLI) 1,670.00p 3.47%
SEGRO (SGRO) 499.40p 3.40%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,962.00p 2.99%
AO World (AO.) 158.60p 2.39%
Bankers Inv Trust (BNKR) 756.00p 1.89%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,107.00p 1.75%
P2P Global Investments (P2P) 816.00p 1.68%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 6,625.00p 1.53%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 383.70p 1.37%
TR Property Inv Trust (TRY) 298.90p 1.32%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Inmarsat (ISAT) 619.50p -4.77%
Essentra (ESNT) 402.20p -4.58%
Cobham (COB) 111.30p -2.96%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 521.00p -2.07%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 561.00p -1.75%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 462.20p -1.64%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,051.00p -1.59%
Rank Group (RNK) 206.60p -0.72%
CYBG (CYBG) 276.50p -0.58%
AA (AA.) 260.30p -0.57%