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FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers

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UK stocks opened flat on Thursday morning as weakness in the mining sector held back any chances of a rebound.

After coming within reach of a 14-year closing high earlier in the week, the FTSE 100 suffered a steep fall on Wednesday to finish at 6,838.87. Investors were looking to book profits with global equity indices trading at multi-year or record highs, while sentiment was dampened further after the World Bank downgraded its growth forecasts.

Subdued risk appetite was keeping investors from ‘buying on the dip’ this morning as they awaited what is set to be a somewhat heavier session in terms of macro data. The FTSE 100 was 0.2% lower at 6,827 in early trading.

Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets, said that after the recent run on major bourses, traders are now “concerned about complacency and the emergence of fresh risks following a period of relative calm”. Nevertheless, the FTSE 100 still remains range-bound with “catalysts lacking (for now) for a break either way”, he said.

After a quiet start to the week on the economic calendar, the focus today will turn to Eurozone industrial production, French inflation and US retail sales and jobless claims figures.

Mining stocks fall

Miners were among the worst performers this morning with Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Antofagasta falling sharply. Anglo was cut from ‘equal weight’ to ‘underweight’ at Morgan Stanley today.

Shares in AstraZeneca rose after the pharmaceutical group signed a licence agreement with AIM-listed Synairgen for the development of SNG000l, a treatment for respiratory tract viral infections in patients with severe asthma.

Natural gas producer BG Group was lower as it suffered from a ratings downgrade by Nomura to ‘neutral’. Publisher Pearson was subdued after a Goldman Sachs downgrade to ‘sell’, while temporary power and temperature control group Aggreko was hit with a downgrade to ‘sector performer’ by RBC Capital Markets.

In contrast, Provident Financial was on the rise after Citigroup lifted its recommendation on the stock to ‘buy’ and hiked its target price by nearly 38%.

Infrastructure and construction peers Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Carillion all fell despite the news that they have been appointed as preferred bidders to work on a £745m project to build new roads in Scotland.

Halma impressed with record annual revenue as the safety, health and environmental technology group achieved growth across all its sectors.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher edged lower after revealing that Philippe Tible, Chief Executive of its European Castorama & Brico Depot brands, will step down from the board at the end of July.

FTSE 100 – Risers
ITV (ITV) 179.60p +1.70%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,700.00p +0.82%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,434.00p +0.77%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,564.00p +0.59%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,155.00p +0.59%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.51p +0.57%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,640.00p +0.46%
Diageo (DGE) 1,915.50p +0.45%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,021.00p +0.39%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,617.50p +0.37%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,410.50p -3.69%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,093.00p -2.01%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,856.50p -1.90%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,628.00p -1.75%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 327.90p -1.53%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 394.10p -1.48%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 760.00p -1.23%
Fresnillo (FRES) 783.50p -1.14%
Glencore (GLEN) 320.60p -1.11%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 898.00p -1.05%

Source: ShareCast

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