London midday: Shares lower after mixed US payroll data

by | Aug 7, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Stocks in London were trading slightly lower on Monday following a negative close to trading on Wall Street the week before.
Last Friday, a mixed U.S. non-farm payrolls had seen stocks on the other side of the Pond finish modestly lower.

“In essence there was something for everyone in Friday’s jobs report, weaker jobs growth, the unemployment rate inching lower, and robust wage growth,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

“Ultimately it spoke to a resilient US economy, as well as a possible Fed pause in September, ahead of this week’s CPI report, although there are some on the FOMC who are still on the ‘more rate hikes to come’ line.”

The FTSE 100 was down 0.71% to 7,510.52, while the second-tier 250 index was off by 0.46 points to 18,847.25.

US equity futures on the other hand were moving up by with those linked to the S&P 500 22.25 points higher to 4,520.25.

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed overnight.

On the previous Friday, the Department of Labor reported a 187,000 increase in hiring (consensus: 200,000), alongside a -49,000 revision to prior months’ data.

Average hourly earnings on the other hand rose by a tenth of a percentage point more than expected or 0.4% month-on-month and the rate of unemployment dipped to 3.5%.

In domestic economic news, UK house prices fell at a month-on-month pace of 0.3% in July, reaching an average level of £285,044, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

That saw the year-on-year rate of decline ease from 2.6% in June to -2.4%.

Meanwhile, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said that its Permanent Staff Placements Index fell from 46.4 in June to 42.4 for July, versus an average reading of 55.3 in 2022.

Commenting on the REC’s survey, Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The Report on Jobs survey should leave the MPC feeling more confident that it already has put enough pressure on businesses’ finances and on underlying consumer demand to slow the jobs market and cool wage growth.”

PageGroup announces special payout for shareholders

PageGroup reported a decline in operating profit in its half-year results on Monday, to £63.9m from £115.3m year-on-year. The firm also saw a decrease in its conversion rate to 12.1%, and a reduction in total headcount by 5.0% to 8,572 employees. However, it declared a 4.5% hike in its interim dividend and a special dividend, with its full-year operating profit outlook remaining consistent with prior projections.

Shipping services specialist Clarkson reported a sharp jump in first-half profit, driving by a strong performance in its broking division. The company on Monday said pre-tax profit for the six months to June 30 came in at £52.2m, up from £42m a year earlier. “The broking teams delivered a very strong first half, with standout performances from the tanker, specialised product, gas, offshore and sale and purchase sectors,” Clarkson said in a statement.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,510.52 -0.71%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,847.25 -0.46%
techMARK (TASX) 4,346.62 -0.42%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 209.30p 1.36%
3i Group (III) 1,913.00p 0.68%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 532.80p 0.64%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,461.00p 0.38%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 238.20p 0.34%
Convatec Group (CTEC) 225.00p 0.27%
Pearson (PSON) 840.80p 0.21%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 114.60p 0.17%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 637.30p 0.14%
Sage Group (SGE) 932.80p 0.11%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Unite Group (UTG) 938.00p -2.60%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,802.50p -2.04%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 146.40p -1.91%
Glencore (GLEN) 454.50p -1.88%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,603.00p -1.87%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,895.00p -1.75%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 5,642.00p -1.74%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,203.50p -1.74%
Smurfit Kappa Group (CDI) (SKG) 3,188.00p -1.67%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 597.60p -1.65%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Spirent Communications (SPT) 160.10p 2.23%
Energean (ENOG) 1,138.00p 1.61%
IP Group (IPO) 58.90p 1.55%
IWG (IWG) 151.70p 1.13%
Hilton Food Group (HFG) 676.00p 1.05%
Spectris (SXS) 3,368.00p 1.02%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 207.50p 0.97%
SSP Group (SSPG) 242.60p 0.92%
ITV (ITV) 74.10p 0.90%
easyJet (EZJ) 455.30p 0.89%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Capita (CPI) 21.16p -3.56%
Clarkson (CKN) 2,780.00p -3.14%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 252.50p -2.88%
Morgan Sindall Group (MGNS) 1,826.00p -2.56%
Molten Ventures (GROW) 253.20p -2.39%
Synthomer (SYNT) 82.60p -2.36%
Serco Group (SRP) 154.00p -2.35%
Future (FUTR) 773.00p -2.21%
Digital 9 Infrastructure NPV (DGI9) 58.90p -2.16%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 297.00p -1.98%

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