London open: Stocks flat as investors pause for breath
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were little changed in early trade as investors paused for breath after the FTSE 100 closed at a record high of 7,415.95 in the previous session.
At 0830 GMT, the index was up 0.1% to 7,421.74.
Spreadex's Connor Campbell said: "Following Thursday's cluttered calendar, with post-Fed reaction joined by the Dutch election results and the latest Bank of England meeting, Friday looks pretty tame in comparison, something reflected in the limp European open."
"Having closed above 7400 for the first time in its history last night, the FTSE took a justified breather after the bell."
On Thursday, the Bank of England voted 8-1 to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.25% and the asset purchase programme at £435bn, as expected. However, the split - the first time since July 2016 that the vote to maintain rates was not unanimous - took markets a little by surprise.
There's little in the way of macroeconomic news due on Friday, but investors may eye the Bank of England's quarterly bulletin at 1200 GMT.
In corporate news, property group Berkeley rallied as it said full year pre-tax profits are expected to be at the top end of analysts' expectations, with the actual outturn dependent upon completion timing on Berkeley's larger developments.
Prudential was on the front foot after being upgraded to 'neutral' by JP Morgan Cazenove.
Stockbroker Panmure Gordon rocketed after agreeing to be bought by Atlas Merchant Capital - the private equity firm of former Barclays boss Bob Diamond - and Qatari investment vehicle QInvest for around £15.5m in cash.
Manager and developer of student accommodation, Unite Students, nudged higher after acquiring an asset under development in Durham for £34m.
On the downside, Tullow Oil slid as China's largest oil company triggered its option to acquire the rest of its interest in Ugandan oil exploration licences.
AstraZeneca ticked lower on news that US regulators have rejected its new drug for high potassium levels.
Amec Foster Wheeler edged down as it said it has been awarded a contract with the US Air Force Civil Engineer Center to sustain and improve Air Force and other US Department of Defense installations worldwide.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,421.74 0.08%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,029.19 0.01%
techMARK (TASX) 3,474.31 -0.06%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Prudential (PRU) 1,789.00p 2.02%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 243.30p 1.12%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,929.00p 1.10%
Barclays (BARC) 231.95p 1.09%
BT Group (BT.A) 333.40p 0.98%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,013.00p 0.90%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 539.00p 0.84%
ITV (ITV) 207.50p 0.73%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,087.00p 0.65%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 193.70p 0.62%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 989.50p -1.35%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,162.00p -1.28%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 331.10p -0.93%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,035.00p -0.92%
Next (NXT) 3,875.00p -0.87%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,497.00p -0.86%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,286.50p -0.85%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,367.00p -0.67%
Capita (CPI) 577.00p -0.60%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,615.00p -0.57%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 3,116.00p 5.16%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,937.00p 3.31%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 210.30p 2.14%
OneSavings Bank (OSB) 409.50p 1.41%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 556.50p 1.27%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,000.00p 1.27%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 917.50p 1.21%
Shawbrook Group (SHAW) 303.60p 1.20%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 235.60p 1.07%
Bellway (BWY) 2,785.00p 0.94%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 209.30p -11.80%
PayPoint (PAY) 934.50p -5.70%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 278.40p -4.46%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 171.20p -1.61%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 890.50p -1.49%
Redefine International (RDI) 35.90p -1.45%
Assura (AGR) 57.20p -1.38%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 477.00p -1.32%
Card Factory (CARD) 278.00p -1.24%
Indivior (INDV) 327.80p -1.24%