London open: Stocks little changed ahead of inflation data; easyJet hits turbulence
(ShareCast News) - London stocks were little changed in early trade as investors sifted through results from the likes of Vodafone and easyJet and awaited some key UK inflation data.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.1% to 7,464.22, while the pound was 0.3% firmer against the dollar at 1.2923.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said the FTSE won't have an easy ride as it deals with the latest, likely soaring, piece of inflation data.
"Analysts are expecting the CPI number to jump from 2.3% to 2.6% month-on-month, a reading that would be the highest in more than three-and-a half years. In theory this would inject a bit of life into the pound...and could, potentially, cause the UK index to fall from its current peak.
"It will be a test of the FTSE's resilience to see how it copes with this challenge, and may help indicate the longevity of these highs going forwards."
The retail price index, producer price index and consumer price index are all due at 0930 BST.
In corporate news, mobile-focused telecoms group Vodafone rallied. Although the company posted a €6.1bn loss for the year to the end of March, mostly on the back of a €3.7bn writedown of its Indian unit, investors welcomed its EBITDA guidance for full-year 2018 of €14bn to €14.5bn versus consensus expectations of €13.8bn.
Inmarsat pushed higher after it successfully launched the fourth satellite of its Global Xpress high-speed broadband programme, allowing it to offer guaranteed global connectivity worldwide.
FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson edged up after saying it was on track to deliver revenue growth of around 10% for the year to the end of October 2017. The company said average selling prices rose 12% in the six months to the end of April, while forward sales at the end of April were 5% ahead of last year.
Car dealership Inchcape advanced after saying it has won a contract with Groupe PSA in Australia to distribute its Peugeot and Citroen brands, while Countryside Properties got a boost as Berenberg initiated coverage of the stock at 'buy'.
Easyjet flew lower after reporting a headline loss before tax of £212m, which included around a £45m impact from Easter not falling in the first half and a negative net currency impact of £82m. The airline said it flew a record number of passengers in the first six months of its financial year, though revenue per seat decreased and cost per seat increased.
Business support group DDC was on the back foot as it said full year pre-tax profits rose 23.7% to £268.2m on the back of a 17% rise in revenue to £12.2bn, while CYBG fell as its first-half underlying pre-tax profit of £123m missed consensus expectations of £131m.
Specialist healthcare company BTG was in the red after it posted a drop in pre-tax profit for the year to the end of March.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,464.22 0.13%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,782.42 0.16%
techMARK (TASX) 3,586.90 -0.12%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 217.15p 2.87%
Kingfisher (KGF) 352.30p 0.95%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 298.40p 0.84%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 612.50p 0.74%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 69.86p 0.68%
BT Group (BT.A) 305.40p 0.63%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 7,406.00p 0.58%
Experian (EXPN) 1,688.00p 0.54%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,135.50p 0.49%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,196.00p 0.46%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,235.00p -5.73%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,392.00p -4.32%
DCC (DCC) 7,110.00p -3.46%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 1,001.00p -2.44%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,416.00p -2.14%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 590.00p -1.67%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,402.00p -1.11%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,720.00p -1.04%
Standard Life (SL.) 388.80p -0.84%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 610.50p -0.65%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Cairn Energy (CNE) 203.00p 3.41%
Countryside Properties (CSP) 285.10p 2.59%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 135.30p 2.11%
HarbourVest Global Private Equity Limited A Shs (HVPE) 1,304.00p 1.87%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,924.00p 1.85%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 416.90p 1.61%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 198.90p 1.53%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 160.60p 1.45%
Virgin Money Holdings (UK) (VM.) 304.10p 1.43%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 173.10p 1.35%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
BTG (BTG) 683.50p -5.33%
CYBG (CYBG) 280.60p -3.27%
AO World (AO.) 146.40p -2.40%
John Laing Group (JLG) 293.40p -2.00%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 327.50p -1.12%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 296.30p -0.87%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 488.40p -0.81%
Carillion (CLLN) 198.80p -0.80%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 626.00p -0.79%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 301.30p -0.79%