FTSE 100: This morning’s risers and fallers
London’s FTSE 100 index was down 0.1 per cent at 6,722 in early deals.
While US markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of ‘risk events’ during the session could prompt some market volatility, with the OPEC meeting likely to grab the most focus as crude prices extended a four-year low.
“Whether or not [OPEC] will cut its output target to curb the downward pressure on oil prices looks to be a close call,” said analysts at Danske Bank. They highlighted a recent Bloomberg survey, which showed that 58% of analysts expect OPEC to keep its target for production unchanged.
Brent crude fell the fourth day in London, dropping as much as 1.9 per cent to $76.28 a barrel.
According to analyst Michael Hewson from CMC Markets UK, an agreement on production cuts “seems fairly unlikely” after comments from ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates who hinted that they had no intention to scale back output.
“That would suggest the likelihood of further declines in the oil price towards $70 a barrel unless oil ministers pull a rabbit out of the hat, and catch the market on the wrong foot. If this does happen then its great news for consumers, but not so great for energy stocks or any leveraged plays that need a high oil price to break even,” he said.
Elsewhere, speeches from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, and ECB members Jens Weidmann and Vitor Constancio will grab the spotlight on Thursday morning.
Data on German unemployment, inflation and consumer confidence will also be in focus.
Oil stocks slump ahead of OPEC meeting
Oil and gas producers such as BG Group, Tullow Oil, Shell, BP, Afren and Enquest were trading with losses early on as shares tracked crude prices lower ahead of the crucial OPEC meeting.
BG Group was also feeling the heat as the proposed £25m pay package for its new boss Helge Lund continues to spark anger. The Institute of Directors branded the remuneration “excessive” and “inflammatory”.
Stocks in the energy services sector were also under pressure ahead of the OPEC meeting on concerns that lower prices could prompt producers to scale back on project spend. Petrofac, which delivered a profit warning to investors last week on the back of lower oil prices and the timing of contracts, was a heavy faller, along with Hunting and Amec Foster Wheeler.
Amec Foster Wheeler, however, was also trading lower after going ex-dividend, meaning that investors will no longer have access to the company’s latest payout. A number of stocks others also went ex-dividend on Thursday, including Dunelm, Johnson Matthey, Royal Mail, SABMiller, Vedanta Resources, Lancashire Holdings, Wolseley and JD Wetherspoon.
Glaxosmithkline gained after saying it is on track to complete its complex three-way £11bn deal with Swiss pharmaceutical peer Novartis next year after US regulators approved the first two parts of the transaction.
Stagecoach saw shares surge after its 90%-owned joint venture with Virgin Rail won the contract from the Department for Transport to run the new InterCity East Coast franchise for eight years from March 2015.
techMARK 2,911.86 +0.01%
FTSE 100 6,721.56 -0.11%
FTSE 250 15,812.78 +0.15%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Barclays (BARC) 241.00p +1.26%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,364.00p +1.22%
SSE (SSE) 1,626.00p +1.06%
ITV (ITV) 209.40p +1.06%
Dixons Carphone (DC.) 422.80p +1.03%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,215.00p +0.97%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,030.00p +0.93%
Sky (SKY) 932.50p +0.92%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,226.00p +0.82%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,116.00p +0.81%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 879.50p -2.22%
Royal Mail (RMG) 415.90p -1.70%
BG Group (BG.) 1,032.50p -1.62%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 236.00p -1.26%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 631.00p -1.25%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 495.50p -1.10%
Tesco (TSCO) 185.20p -1.07%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 858.50p -0.98%
BP (BP.) 433.75p -0.95%
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ (RDSB) 2,345.00p -0.91%