London open: Stocks in the red as pound rallies but Imagination Technologies surges
London stocks fell in early trade on Monday as the pound gained ground against the euro after Angela Merkel secured a fourth term as German chancellor but with the tricky task of setting up a coalition, although chip designer Imagination Technologies bucked the trend on deal news.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.5% to 7,277.04 as the pound rose 0.7% versus the euro to 1.1368 after Merkel's conservative bloc saw its worst result in nearly 70 years over the weekend, taking 33% of the vote as anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) took 12.6%.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said: "Merkel’s diminished authority - and the rise of a party with links, and similar Eurosceptic views (among other things), to UKIP and France’s National Front - appears to be weighing on both the euro and the region’s indices."
He added: "There isn’t much to the UK economic calendar this Monday - or, in fact, much of the week (until Friday, at least) - meaning the FTSE is likely to remain trading in relationship the forex market."
Sterling was also stronger against the dollar, up 0.3% at 1.3549. A firmer pound tends to weigh on the main index as around 70% of its constituents derive most of their earnings from overseas.
On the corporate front, shares in Imagination Technologies bucked the trend, surging 33% after the company agreed late on Friday to be taken over by US-based, Chinese-backed private equity firm Canyon Bridge Partners for £550m.
Tullow Oil was also on the front after it said that its TEN fields offshore Ghana will not be affected by the maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.
NMC Health advanced after the UAE-based healthcare provider announced a significant expansion into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as it received all the necessary regulatory approvals for a long-term care facility in Jeddah.
On the downside, Essentra dropped after confirming that its health and personal care packaging sites at Manati and Guaynabo in Puerto Rico have been disrupted as a result of Hurricane Maria, although both sites remained “fundamentally intact”.
Shaftesbury was a little weaker as it said demand for West End properties has held up but leasing transactions at larger sites have slowed down due to current political and macroeconomic uncertainties.
Shares in Pennon slipped despite the water and waste company saying its half-year results remained "on track to deliver in line" for both businesses and it felt well placed for the rest of the year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,531.00p 0.92%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,696.00p 0.86%
Centrica (CNA) 189.70p 0.85%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 268.10p 0.41%
3i Group (III) 920.50p 0.38%
ITV (ITV) 166.90p 0.36%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 414.50p 0.34%
G4S (GFS) 274.70p 0.33%
National Grid (NG.) 945.20p 0.12%
Kingfisher (KGF) 297.00p 0.10%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Mediclinic International (MDC) 665.00p -2.28%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,312.00p -1.58%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,415.00p -1.53%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 721.50p -1.16%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,452.00p -1.15%
Prudential (PRU) 1,754.00p -1.13%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,340.00p -1.08%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 66.21p -1.05%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 930.00p -1.01%
Old Mutual (OML) 193.30p -0.97%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Tullow Oil (TLW) 190.60p 6.90%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 26.00p 2.32%
Indivior (INDV) 331.80p 2.06%
Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL) 122.80p 1.99%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,599.00p 1.84%
Sanne Group (SNN) 775.00p 1.64%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 449.40p 1.40%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 247.70p 1.18%
Bodycote (BOY) 924.50p 1.09%
Polar Capital Technology Trust (PCT) 1,029.00p 1.08%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
McCarthy & Stone (MCS) 146.30p -2.73%
IP Group (IPO) 124.20p -2.59%
Alfa Financial Software Holdings (ALFA) 477.30p -2.31%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 278.20p -2.25%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,752.00p -2.24%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,126.00p -2.00%
Acacia Mining (ACA) 178.10p -1.98%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 713.50p -1.79%
Essentra (ESNT) 498.30p -1.52%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 281.80p -1.50%