FTSE closes down 42 points at 6,654
Fri 24 May 2013
London close: Stocks off again, Yen keeps strengtheningLondon equities finished lower for a second straight day, with investors being put off by the recent gyrations in the market, although the early close of some US markets ahead of the Memorial Day weekend may also have played a role.
16:30 Close The FTSE ended the week on a downbeat note ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend as worries about the Fed scaling back its asset purchase programme prematurely weighed heavy. Leading the downside was ENRC having announced Thursday that it has suffered two potential losses of company data. In economic news, gross mortgage borrowing in the UK was little changed in April, according to figures from the BBA. The FTSE closed down 69 points on the week.
15:18 Markets continue to trade lower after a poor start on Wall Street with airline IAG now providing a drag after one its jetliners carrying 75 passengers had to make an emergency landing at Heathrow. Video has shown that smoke coming from one of the plane's engines. The plane was evacuated and no one has been reported as injured. The FTSE 100 is down 52 points at 6,645.
15:06 Any bid for British water company Severn Trent would have to be pitched at 23 pounds per share or more to have any chance of success, top investors said after an approach for the company earlier this month.
13:30 US durable goods orders grew by 3.3 per cent month-on-month in April (Consensus: 1.5 per cent). Orders for non-defence capital goods increased by 1.2 per cent. FTSE 100 down 30 to 6,669.
13:06 Market commentary is a tad divided regarding the direction which equities will take in the very short-term. Of interest however, the FT's James Mackintosh points out how the rise in sovereign bond yields may have detracted from defensive stocks' allure - curiously, they have led in the recent stock market up-trend, as they have been acting as substitutes for fixed income instruments. Nevertheless, Mackintosh adds that: "Barring any further bad news, a 5-10 per cent fall looks like a short-term buying opportunity." FTSE 100 down 35 to 6,662.
12:14 Stocks continue to trade lower despite soothing words on the global monetary policy front from the Bank of England's Paul Fisher and US St.Louis Fed President James Bullard. Smiths Group is now leading gains on the Footsie after earlier on having reiterated its earnings guidance. Next has been knocked lower by a downgrade out of analysts at Morgan Stanley, to underweight, who have also recommended to clients rotating into shares of Marks&Spencer. FTSE 100 down 45 to 6,651.
10:15 The FTSE has edged into negative territory, extending yesterday's heavy losses. Miners provided a drag as they tracked metal prices lower, while on the second tier index Ocado has continued to weigh heavily, after its head, Tim Steiner, reportedly said Waitrose boss, Mark Price, has given him the cold shoulder after the on-line grocer made a deal with rival Morrison Supermarkets. The FTSE is down 10 points at 6,687.
09:30 The BBA has reported that gross mortgage borrowing in April totalled 7.8bn pounds, falling slightly short of the recent monthly average.
09:20 The FTSE is currently flat, with sentiment still fragile following a plunge the day before as traders reacted to concerns about stimulus measures in the US and a slowdown in China. Today's spotlight will shine on economic data, which includes mortgage lending figures from the BBA and US durable goods orders. Company wise, Next is leading the fallers after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to underweight with a target price of 3,920p.