London open: Stocks nudge up as investors digest dovish Yellen
(ShareCast News) - London stocks nudged higher in early trade on Thursday as investors digested a dovish congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen a day earlier.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was up 0.1% to 7,423.26, while the pound was up 0.5% against the dollar at 1.2946 after Yellen indicated that the Fed will not be rushing to tighten monetary policy, and 0.3% firmer versus the euro at 1.1317.
FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed said: "Although Yellen did not diverge from her statement at the most recent FOMC meeting by remaining committed to raising rates and reducing the Fed's balance sheet as the US economy continues to grow, she was apparently worried about the inflation outlook.
"US monetary policy makers have been trying to convince the markets that the incline in inflation is temporary. However, Yellen's statement that 'the Fed stands ready to adjust policy if it appears the inflation undershoot appears consistent' suggests that September rate hikes might be off the table for now and rates will not go much higher in the longer run."
Investors were also digesting news that British house price inflation slowed to its weakest in June since the aftermath of the Brexit vote as political worries took their toll. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' monthly house price index fell to +7 from +17 in May.
In corporate news, marine and aerospace engineer Babcock rose after saying its new financial year has begun well, with 82% of revenues for the full year already booked.
LondonMetric Property ticked a touch higher as it announced the acquisition of two Marks & Spencer stores in Newport, Isle of Wight and Kendal, Lancashire for £24.6m.
Specialist healthcare company BTG edged up after saying it was on track to achieve double digit sales growth in the 12 months to 31 March 2018, while Go-Ahead was in the black as it struck an agreement with the UK Department for Transport regarding the strike impact on train performance at its partially-owned Govia Thameslink Railway franchise
On the downside, AstraZeneca was under pressure following a report that its chief executive officer Pascal Soriot is leaving the company to go to Teva Pharmaceuticals.
N Brown slumped after saying it would take a £35-40m one-off charge this year to cover expected customer compensation after deciding it had potentially mis-sold some insurance products to customers between 2006 and 2014.
Online fashion retailer ASOS was weaker despite saying sales in the four months to the end of June rose 32% and that it expects sales growth for the current financial year to be at the upper end of its 30-35% range.
On the data front, the Bank of England credit conditions survey is at 0930 BST. In the US, the producer price index and initial jobless claims are at 1330 BST.
FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,423.26 0.09%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,306.06 0.20%
techMARK (TASX) 3,487.65 -0.18%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Babcock International Group (BAB) 901.50p 3.68%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,113.50p 1.50%
Standard Life (SL.) 412.40p 1.40%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 179.70p 1.35%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 254.80p 1.31%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 247.30p 1.19%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,305.50p 1.16%
Tesco (TSCO) 172.60p 1.11%
Glencore (GLEN) 318.50p 1.11%
Next (NXT) 3,657.00p 1.08%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,020.00p -3.31%
Sage Group (SGE) 672.00p -1.47%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 295.60p -1.10%
Pearson (PSON) 618.50p -0.88%
GKN (GKN) 328.30p -0.73%
Royal Mail (RMG) 402.40p -0.64%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,250.50p -0.46%
Carnival (CCL) 5,135.00p -0.39%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 377.60p -0.37%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 7,720.00p -0.36%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Dignity (DTY) 2,548.00p 2.08%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 279.30p 1.90%
Safestore Holdings (SAFE) 422.90p 1.76%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 444.30p 1.65%
Cranswick (CWK) 2,840.00p 1.54%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 426.70p 1.47%
IP Group (IPO) 131.90p 1.46%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 285.60p 1.46%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 184.70p 1.43%
esure Group (ESUR) 299.40p 1.15%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Carillion (CLLN) 55.20p -3.50%
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 162.40p -2.75%
TBC Bank Group (TBCG) 1,626.00p -1.45%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 443.10p -0.85%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,329.00p -0.77%
British Empire Trust (BTEM) 686.50p -0.72%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 308.80p -0.71%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,563.00p -0.66%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 597.50p -0.58%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 179.00p -0.56%