FTSE 100: Risers and Fallers
The FTSE 100 was down 0.51 per cent at 6,924.94 early on, with most equity markets on the continent closed for May Day.
Analyst Craig Erlam from Oanda said the lower open may signal some profit taking and risk aversion ahead of the bank holiday weekend with UK markets closed on Monday.
“A lot could happen between now and Tuesday with talks continuing between Greece and its creditors and that makes investors quite nervous,” he said.
In economic data, the official Chinese manufacturingpurchasing managers’ index (PMI) remained flat at 50.1 in April, slightly ahead of the decline to 50 expected. The non-manufacturing PMI inched higher to 53.4 from 53.7.
The UK manufacturing PMI due out at 09:30 is forecast to rise to 54.6 in April from 54.4 in March. Other data released on Friday morning is expected to show an improvement in UK mortgage approvals and UK consumer credit.
The closely-watched ISM US manufacturing index is also predicted to rise from 51.5 to 52 in April when it is released at 15:00.
Lloyds Banking Group impressed after delivering a bigger-than-forecast 21 per cent jump in underlying profits in the first quarter as impairment charges more than halved. The UK lender also lifted its net interest margin guidance for the full year and improved its capital position.
However, sector peer Barclays was extending losses after disappointing on Wednesday with its own results. Berenberg lowered its rating on the stock to ‘sell’ on Friday.
Mining stocks were mostly higher with Rio Tinto, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Antofagasta all making gains.
Glaxosmithkline declined despite its Breo once-daily treatment for adult asthma being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The use of Breo in children aged 12-17 was not approved, however.
Molten metal flow engineering company Vesuvius fell on the news that its chief financial officer Chris O’Shea is leaving to join technology outfit Smiths Group as its new finance director.
Climate control and ventilation systems outfit Colt Group declined after reporting weaker revenues in the first quarter after exiting its low-margin voice services business.
techMARK 3,169.82 -0.53%
FTSE 100 6,924.94 -0.51%
FTSE 250 17,387.51 -0.50%
FTSE 100 – Risers
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 79.76p +3.08%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,137.00p +2.90%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 2,961.50p +2.65%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,589.50p +1.83%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 793.00p +1.47%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,575.00p +1.09%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,900.00p +1.06%
Glencore (GLEN) 313.20p +0.95%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 1,090.00p +0.74%
Tesco (TSCO) 222.30p +0.59%
FTSE 100 – Fallers
3i Group (III) 492.40p -2.78%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 948.00p -2.37%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 508.50p -2.12%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 465.30p -2.06%
Old Mutual (OML) 230.30p -1.96%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 1,200.00p -1.88%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,668.00p -1.88%
Royal Mail (RMG) 459.00p -1.86%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,209.00p -1.71%
Carnival (CCL) 2,939.00p -1.67%