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London close: US sell-off causes jitters

14 Apr 09

  • Market Movers
  • techMARK 1,159.27 +0.02%
  • FTSE 100 3,988.99 +0.13%
  • FTSE 250 7,152.16 +2.48%
  • LONDON (ShareCast) - Miners and banks helped London top 4,000 Tuesday, but a weak start on Wall Street caused nerves elsewhere, leaving the blue chip index with just a narrow lead and back below the big figure.

    London had traded up near 4,040 earlier as Barclays rallied on talk that the bank is listening to offers for its entire asset management arm, Barclays Global Investors. Better than expected quarterly results from Goldman Sachs also helped.

    Lloyds Banking and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) both advanced after the US finance giant reported a pre-tax profit of $2.6bn for the quarter to March 27, compared with a loss of $3.6bn over the preceding three-month period. It also plans to raise $5bn (£3.4bn) in a share sale to pay off US government bail-out funds.

    News that a number of number of local parties are sniffing around its Pakistan business was an extra boost for RBS. Pakistan's biggest bank MCB confirmed its interest, while Pakistani financial services company Jahangir Siddiqui and Habib Banks are also in the running.

    HSBC was another bank on the rise after confirming it’s contemplating selling off three of its major office buildings.

    Legal & General and Standard Life led the insurers after recent comments from investment analysts that the sector sell-off has been overdone.

    Miners were shown the way ahead by Vedanta after an upgrade by Barclays Capital. Kazakhmys, Xstrata and Rio Tinto followed. Elsewhere in the resource sector, however, oils are out of fashion, with BP, BG Group and Tullow the big fallers. US crude oil futures fell on Monday by over $2 after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global oil demand. Friday’s EIA report said global demand for oil would decrease by a further 1m barrels this year. Demand is now expected to be around 2.4m barrels a day below 2008 levels.

    Fund manager BlueBay remained the best performing FTSE 250 stock after Citigroup upgraded it from ‘hold’ to ‘buy’.

    Hope that a UK car scrapping scheme will boost demand for cars caused UK-listed car dealers Pendragon, Lookers and Inchcape to surge. The government may give motorists £2,000 if they trade in their old car for a new one.

    While the US is braced for a big week of company results, second-line stocks dominated the corporate news scene in the UK.

    Soft drinks firm Britvic announced the successful refinancing of its committed bank facility, which will see its new six-bank £283m revolving multi-currency facility mature in May 2012. Prior to the commencement of this facility, effective from May 2010, Britvic will have access to increased committed bank facilities of £333m.

    JKX Oil and Gas is to buy a 25% interest in the Veszto exploration licence held by Hungarian Horizon Energy. Oil and gas explorer JKX is paying for the stake by contributing its share of the drilling costs on the first well and by paying some of the previously incurred exploration costs. JKX expects the cost in the next quarter to be around $3.25m.

    Dart Group, the aviation and distribution firm, expects full year results to be ahead of current market expectations due to strong trading performance and the strength of the US dollar.

    Oil and gas explorer and producer Leni Gas & Oil reported a slight dip in production between February and March as it underwent development programmes at its operations in Spain, Hungary and Trinidad.

    Stockbroker Jarvis Securities said given the current strong trading it has decided to declare a first interim dividend for 2009 of 3p per share.

    John Perriss, the independent non-executive director of The Local Radio Company has recommended shareholders reject the offer from the UKRD Group as it compares unfavourably to the rival offer from Hallwood.

    FTSE 100 - Risers
    Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,008.00p +15.40%
    ICAP (IAP) 388.50p +13.18%
    Legal & General Group (LGEN) 54.50p +11.68%
    Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 87.90p +10.57%
    Kazakhmys (KAZ) 513.50p +10.19%
    Barclays (BARC) 195.50p +10.14%
    Xstrata (XTA) 613.50p +7.16%
    Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC) 553.50p +6.14%
    Man Group (EMG) 252.00p +6.11%
    Antofagasta (ANTO) 590.00p +5.92%

    FTSE 100 - Fallers
    British American Tobacco (BATS) 1,495.00p -4.78%
    BAE Systems (BA.) 323.00p -4.15%
    Inmarsat (ISAT) 485.25p -3.72%
    Reed Elsevier (REL) 460.25p -3.21%
    Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 1,430.00p -3.18%
    Capita Group (CPI) 617.50p -2.83%
    Shire Plc (SHP) 803.00p -2.78%
    Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 243.25p -2.70%
    Pennon Group (PNN) 420.75p -2.43%
    Cobham (COB) 178.10p -2.41%

    FTSE 250 - Risers
    BlueBay Asset Management (BBAY) 161.50p +25.19%
    Ferrexpo (FXPO) 77.00p +16.67%
    Enterprise Inns (ETI) 113.75p +16.07%
    Inchcape (INCH) 15.25p +15.09%
    Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 453.00p +12.83%
    Aricom (ORE) 30.50p +10.91%
    Logica (LOG) 73.00p +10.19%
    Derwent London (DLN) 845.00p +9.74%
    Ashtead Group (AHT) 59.00p +9.26%
    Shaftesbury (SHB) 361.00p +9.15%

    FTSE 250 - Fallers
    Premier Foods (PFD) 32.75p -5.76%
    Domino's Pizza UK & IRL (DOM) 213.25p -5.22%
    JKX Oil & Gas (JKX) 216.25p -5.15%
    TR Property Investment Trust Sigma Shares (TRYS) 47.00p -4.57%
    Debenhams (DEB) 55.00p -4.35%
    Micro Focus International Plc (MCRO) 319.00p -3.63%
    Soco International (SIA) 1,125.00p -3.60%
    Homeserve (HSV) 1,251.00p -3.47%
    William Hill (WMH) 188.50p -3.46%
    SThree (STHR) 200.00p -3.38%

    Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are delayed by at least 15 minutes.


    Market Data

    Currency US Dollars
    Price $33.58
    Change Today -$0.17
    52 Week High $34.26
    52 Week Low $33.49
    Volume 70,221
    Shares Issued 271.57m
    Market Cap $9,119m


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