London midday: Stocks nudge lower despite strong miners
London stocks had nudged a touch lower by midday, with a strong showing in the mining sector failing to provide any upward momentum as investors paused for breath after a record close on Friday.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.1% at 7,554.06, while the pound was up 0.3% against the euro at 1.1302 and 0.2% firmer versus the dollar at 1.3107.
IG analyst Joshua Mahony said: “Markets are on a comedown, following what as was incredibly busy week from a political, economic and corporate standpoint. With the ECB, BoJ, Fed and BoE having completed their monetary policy meetings in the past fortnight, we are now seeing a more stable and settled environment for traders as we digest all that has gone before. The focus will likely shift onto the US from here on in, with negotiations over a wide-reaching tax reform programme expected to grab the headlines.”
On the corporate front, medical technology company Convatec was the standout gainer after UBS upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’. Playtech was also lifted by the analysts at the Swiss bank, who reiterated a 'buy' on the online gaming stock.
GKN and Tate & Lyle were boosted by upgrades at Investec, while Mitie and Severn Trent were up after upgrades from Jefferies and HSBC, respectively.
In terms of sectors, heavily-weighted mining stocks racked up healthy gains, with BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto all in the black as iron ore prices rallied.
Challenger bank Aldermore rose after it recommended a bid from South Africa's First Rand bank and reported solid results for the third quarter.
Plastics group Synthomer fell after it said volumes in the third quarter remained flat on last year and that it continued to hunt for acquisition opportunities.
EasyJet was flat as it reported a 9.9% jump in passenger numbers for October as the load factor ticked higher, but Wizz Air fared much better after its October traffic stats.
Redefine was in the red after announcing the successful exchange of contracts with Patrizia Immobilien AG for the sale of the Leopard (German supermarket) portfolio.
Rio Tinto advanced as it appointed Simon Trott to the newly-created role of chief commercial officer as it reinforces its focus on driving value across the business from mine to market.
Morgan Advanced Materials retreated despite saying trading is in line with its expectations as it reaffirmed its outlook for the full year.
Healthcare company BTG was weaker as it said it will pay a £55.3m provision after the final ruling in its patent dispute with WellStat Therapeutics went against the company.
IWG was hit by a downgrade to ‘sector perform’ by analysts at RBC Capital Markets.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Convatec Group (CTEC) 191.70p 5.33%
NMC Health (NMC) 3,180.00p 2.95%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,459.50p 2.24%
Severn Trent (SVT) 2,168.00p 1.74%
GKN (GKN) 323.80p 1.73%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,509.00p 1.62%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,775.00p 1.34%
Centrica (CNA) 169.90p 1.31%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,015.00p 1.01%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,756.50p 0.90%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sky (SKY) 928.50p -1.90%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 428.80p -1.52%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,493.00p -1.37%
Tesco (TSCO) 176.90p -1.23%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 610.00p -1.21%
Prudential (PRU) 1,847.00p -1.12%
G4S (GFS) 283.30p -1.12%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,465.00p -1.08%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 716.00p -1.04%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 217.10p -0.87%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Playtech (PTEC) 810.50p 5.26%
Mitie Group (MTO) 248.20p 4.20%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 310.00p 2.51%
Sophos Group (SOPH) 619.50p 2.31%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 222.20p 2.11%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 194.50p 1.99%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 449.70p 1.90%
Lancashire Holdings Limited (LRE) 754.00p 1.75%
BGEO Group (BGEO) 3,649.00p 1.62%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 133.90p 1.59%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
BTG (BTG) 735.50p -5.58%
CLS Holdings (CLI) 228.20p -2.89%
Inchcape (INCH) 763.50p -2.68%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 317.60p -2.28%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 392.60p -2.07%
TP ICAP (TCAP) 489.90p -2.02%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 903.00p -1.90%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 595.00p -1.90%
Greene King (GNK) 545.50p -1.89%
IP Group (IPO) 150.60p -1.76%