London open: Stocks flat; Bovis slumps but G4S gains
Stocks in London were flat in early trade as investors digested weaker-than-expected Japanese economic growth figures and sifted through corporate news.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was steady at 6,915.71.
Dave Jeal, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said there was “little in the air to drive momentum”.
“Our investors have turned back to the small cap resources sector for short-term opportunities after Friday's falls for the large cap players,” he added.
Data released earlier showed Japan’s economy hardly grew in the April to June quarter, weighed by exports and business investment.
The economy grew 0.2% on an annualised basis, down from 1.9% in the first three months of the year. Meanwhile, private consumption nudged up just 0.2%, down from 0.6% growth the quarter before.
In corporate news, William Hill was a little weaker after rejecting an improved cash-and-shares offer from Rank Group and 888 Holdings received over the weekend.
Bovis Homes was sharply lower despite posting growth in profit and revenue for the first half, as it said it was too early to gauge the impact of Brexit.
FTSE 250 security firm G4S rallied after saying that Tim Weller will succeed Himanshu Raja as chief financial officer of G4S after Raja retires from the board and steps down from the role on 1 October. Weller will join the company from oilfield services group Petrofac, where he held the same role.
Entertainment One surged amid reports private equity firm KKR is considering a bid for the company after it rejected an offer from ITV.
Software firm Sage was under pressure after saying an internal login had been used to gain unauthorised access to some of its British customers’ data.
Genus was in the black despite losing US legal dispute and being ordered to pay its opponents $1.5m upfront in damages plus an ongoing royalty for the patent its Genus Sexed Semen (GSS) processing technology was said to have infringed.
On the data front, there are no major UK releases due. In the US, Empire manufacturing is at 1330 BST, while the NAHB housing market index is at 1500 BST.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 865.50p 1.00%
Provident Financial (PFG) 2,860.00p 0.81%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 5,146.00p 0.80%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 1,106.00p 0.73%
Barclays (BARC) 164.50p 0.67%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,723.00p 0.64%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 1,929.00p 0.52%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,012.00p 0.50%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,285.00p 0.44%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 213.90p 0.42%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Sage Group (SGE) 708.00p -4.32%
Glencore (GLEN) 193.20p -1.50%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 351.10p -0.96%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 792.00p -0.94%
BAE Systems (BA.) 527.00p -0.85%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,518.00p -0.83%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 436.90p -0.77%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 8,505.00p -0.64%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,710.00p -0.58%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 237.50p -0.57%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 257.40p 7.79%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,117.00p 4.03%
Rank Group (RNK) 213.90p 2.79%
IP Group (IPO) 182.70p 2.47%
DFS Furniture (DFS) 266.20p 2.38%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 274.50p 2.31%
Cairn Energy (CNE) 195.60p 2.30%
G4S (GFS) 231.40p 2.12%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,010.00p 1.92%
Renishaw (RSW) 2,739.00p 1.90%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cobham (COB) 155.90p -3.65%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 206.60p -2.36%
Allied Minds (ALM) 364.10p -1.83%
Synthomer (SYNT) 374.50p -1.68%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,293.00p -1.67%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 430.50p -1.51%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 161.70p -1.40%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 844.50p -1.40%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 590.50p -1.34%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 282.80p -1.33%