London open: Stocks start the day slightly lower, but RBS jumps

September 30, 2014

LONDON (ShareCast) – Stocks started the Tuesday session slightly lower, weighed down by weakness overnight in Asian markets, although Wall Street did manage to finish off its intra-session lows.That comes as investors keep a close bead on US interest rate expectations and the strength of the US dollar. No less important in guiding markets will be Thursday’s European Central bank policy meeting on Thursday and Friday’s US non-farm payrolls report.
Protesters in the special administrative region of Hong Kong were reportedly blocking roads for a fifth day, with the crowds now said to have reached the tens of thousands.
As of 08:57 the FTSE 100 was down by 9 points to 6,637.99, while the Hang Seng was lower by 216.58 points to 23,012.63, having pared earlier losses.
“While financial markets in HK do not appear too rattled by the growing political tensions the risks are obviously high. A heavy-handed crackdown by authorities might irreparably damage the city’s reputation as a global financial centre,” Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics wrote on Tuesday morning.
Economic data out overnight will not offer much succor either. The HSBC Chinese manufacturing sector purchasing managers’ index for September was revised lower, revealing a print of 50.2 versus the preliminary estimate of 50.5.
Japan’s industrial production dropped by 1.5% month-on-month in August, quite a bit worse than forecast.
Back in the UK, house prices slipped at a 0.2% month-on-month clip in September (9.4% year-on-year) according to the latest data from Halifax, coming in well below the 10.4% pace of increases which economists had pencilled in.
Majority state-owned lender Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.Lnews) (RBS) now expects to “significantly” outperform its previous guidance of approximately ¬£1bn in total impairments for the fiscal year 2014 thanks to a strong operating performance by RBS Capital Resolution and a continued improvement in economic conditions and asset prices, including Ireland (Other OTC: IRLDnews) .
In company news, clothes retailer Next (Other OTC: NXGPFnews) warned that third quarter sales were lower than its previous expectations and a continuation of the cold weather could reduce full year profits. However, the FTSE 100 group was confident enough to maintain its full year guidance, saying “our experience suggests that some lost sales are regained when the weather turns”.
London property group Workspace has sold the first phase of its redeveloped Poplar Business Park site to Telford Homes. The redevelopment comprises 170 apartments and 8,000 square foot of light industrial space.
Product testing group Intertek has appointed André Lacroix (Paris: FR0000066607news) as chief executive to replace Wolfhart Hauser, who will retire after a decade at the helm of the product testing group. Lacroix spent close to a decade in charge of automotive dealership company Inchape.
The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel, to which The Times has had access, show that Marks&Spencer , the retailer led by Marc Bolland, is losing market share to Next.
Market MoverstechMARK 2,816.51 -0.07%FTSE 100 6,647.35 +0.01%FTSE 250 15,401.02 +0.07%
FTSE 100 – RisersRoyal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 375.30p +3.85%Intertek Group (Other OTC: IKTSFnews) (ITRK) 2,641.00p +2.88%Smiths Group (Other OTC: SMGKFnews) (SMIN) 1,279.00p +2.32%easyJet (EZJ) 1,412.00p +2.24%Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF.Lnews) (ABF) 2,609.00p +1.79%CRH (CRH (NYSE: CRHnews) ) 1,412.00p +1.36%Kingfisher (KGF) 323.80p +0.97%Glencore (GLEN) 342.70p +0.94%Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 249.50p +0.89%Barclays (BARC) 228.00p +0.89%
FTSE 100 – FallersNext (NXT) 6,625.00p -3.50%Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 403.10p -2.96%ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.Lnews) (ARM) 910.50p -1.51%Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD.Lnews) (SPD) 628.00p -0.95%GKN (GKN (LSE: GKN.Lnews) ) 323.10p -0.92%Intu Properties (LSE: INTU.Lnews) (INTU) 327.10p -0.88%Old Mutual (Other OTC: ODMTYnews) (OML) 181.00p -0.82%British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS.Lnews) (BATS) 3,476.50p -0.73%Fresnillo (FRES) 755.00p -0.72%HSBC Holdings (HKSE: 0005.HKnews) (HSBA) 630.60p -0.69%
FTSE 250 – RisersMelrose Industries (Other OTC: MLSPFnews) (MRO) 246.10p +3.66%AO World (AO.) 198.70p +3.49%Evraz (EVR) 130.00p +2.85%RPC Group (LSE: RPC.Lnews) (RPC (NYSE: RESnews) ) 540.00p +2.76%Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,368.00p +2.09%Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.Lnews) (FDSA) 2,334.00p +1.92%Centamin (DI (KSE: 003160.KSnews) ) (CEY) 59.15p +1.89%PZ Cussons (LSE: PZC.Lnews) (PZC) 370.20p +1.79%Hunting (HTG) 897.50p +1.76%International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF.Lnews) (IPF) 485.80p +1.65%
FTSE 250 – FallersAL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,018.00p -6.52%Ferrexpo (FXPO) 109.80p -4.60%Inchcape (INCH) 641.00p -4.40%Debenhams (DEB) 58.05p -3.01%PayPoint (PAY) 975.00p -2.35%Supergroup (SGP) 1,118.00p -1.76%Balfour Beatty (Other OTC: BAFBFnews) (BBY) 187.20p -1.73%Ted Baker (Other OTC: TBAKFnews) (TED) 1,846.00p -1.65%Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 570.00p -1.55%ICAP (IAP) 390.00p -1.44%

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