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FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers

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Despite decent gains by Royal Bank of Scotland, the UK stock market opened more or less flat on Thursday morning as investors speculated about stimulus measures in China.

London’s FTSE 100 was trading at 6,828 in early deals, down slightly on Wednesday’s close of 6,830.11.

While concerns about the upcoming Scottish referendum vote and the impact that a ‘yes’ vote would have on the economy continue to weigh on risk appetite in London, RBS investors welcomed the announcement by management about its “contingency planning”.

In other news, a drop in Chinese inflation from 2.3 per cent to a four-month low of 2 per cent in August came in lower than the 2.2 per cent expected by analysts, with price rises now running further below the government’s target of 3.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the producer price index declined by a worse-than-forecast 1.2 per cent, its 30th straight fall, after a 0.9% drop the month before.

Markets are now speculating whether Beijing will announce a new round of stimulus to shore up demand and drive economic growth, or whether the government will wait and see if previous measures will have an effect.

RBS and Lloyds in demand

Edinburgh-based RBS was making gains in morning trade after saying that it would be “necessary” to move its headquarters to England in the event of a ‘yes’ vote on Scottish independence. This would “be the most effective way to provide clarity to all our stakeholders and mitigate the risks”, it said.

Sector peer Lloyds also said it had contingency plans which include “the establishment of new legal entities in England” should a ‘yes’ vote occur.

Other Scotland-based companies such as SSE and Standard Life were also in demand on Thursday.

As promised, UK supermarket chain Wm Morrison lifted its interim dividend by 5 per cent but reported a 51 per cent drop in underlying profits to £181m in its first half and said that like-for-like sales momentum is “yet to improve”. Nevertheless, this came in above the £174m consensus forecast. The stock jumped initially but gave back most of its gains within the opening hour.

Leading the fallers was high street retailer Next despite slightly upgrading its full-year earnings guidance after a strong first half with profits up 19% and sales up 10 per cent.

Mining stocks such as AntofagastaFresnillo and Glencore were also among the worst performers on the FTSE 100.

FTSE 100 – Risers
St James’s Place (STJ) 702.00p +1.74%
SSE (SSE) 1,470.00p +1.73%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,254.00p +1.62%
Standard Life (SL.) 413.90p +1.60%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 719.00p +1.55%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 347.40p +1.52%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 960.00p +1.16%
TUI Travel (TT.) 363.90p +1.03%
CRH (CRH) 1,503.00p +1.01%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 73.92p +0.94%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Next (NXT) 6,940.00p -3.14%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,386.00p -1.07%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 771.00p -1.03%
Fresnillo (FRES) 835.50p -0.77%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,680.00p -0.74%
National Grid (NG.) 896.00p -0.72%
Diageo (DGE) 1,818.00p -0.68%
Glencore (GLEN) 360.00p -0.68%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,426.00p -0.64%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,694.00p -0.55%

Source: ShareCast

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