London midday: Stocks turn lower after manufacturing data

by | Aug 1, 2023

(Sharecast News) – London stocks had turned negative by midday on Tuesday as investors mulled downbeat manufacturing data and results from the likes of BP, HSBC and Diageo.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.3% at 7,675.29.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “UK investors are on tenterhooks this week awaiting the Bank of England’s rate decision on Thursday.

“Overnight the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its official cash rate on hold at 4.1% for the second month in a row, meeting analysts’ expectations. Earnings season stateside is in full swing with key results due from Uber after the bell and from Apple and Amazon on Thursday.”

On home shores, a survey out earlier showed that the downturn in the manufacturing sector intensified last month.

The S&P Global/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 45.3 in July from 46.5 in June, remining below the 50.0 mark that separates contraction from expansion.

This marked lowest reading in the year so far and joint-weakest since May 2020. Still, it was a touch higher than consensus and the flash estimate of 45.0.

Dr John Glen, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Overall, it seems that recovery has stalled. Concerns about further interest rate rises making borrowing more expensive and customers reluctant to buy had the sector running on empty for another month but more than half of survey respondents kept their chins up and remained hopeful about the next 12 months.”

Investors were also digesting the latest data from Nationwide, which showed that annual house prices suffered their worst fall last month since July 2009. Prices were down 3.8% on the year following a 3.5% decline in June and now stand at £260,828.

On the month, prices fell 0.2% in July following a 0.1% increase a month earlier.

Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner noted that the price of a typical home is now 4.5% below the August 2022 peak.

“Investors’ views about the likely path of UK interest rates have been volatile in recent months, with the projected Bank Rate peak fluctuating between 5% in mid-May and 6.5% in early July,” he said.

“There has been a slight tempering of expectations in recent weeks but longer-term interest rates, which underpin mortgage pricing, remain elevated.”

He said that as a result, housing affordability remains stretched for people looking to buy a home with a mortgage.

“For example, a prospective buyer, earning the average wage and looking to buy the typical first-time buyer property with a 20% deposit, would see monthly mortgage payments account for 43% of their take home pay (assuming a 6% mortgage rate),” he said. “This is up from 32% a year ago and well above the long-run average of 29%. Moreover, deposit requirements continue to present a high hurdle – with a 10% deposit equivalent to 55% of gross annual average income.”

In equity markets, Man Group and gold and silver miner Fresnillo both slumped after first-half results.

Bakery chain Greggs was also down despite backing its full-year guidance and posting a jump in first-half profit and sales.

Aston Martin was in the red after it raised £216m in a share placing to cut debt.

Weir Group surged after as its first-half results were ahead of expectations and it upgraded full-year profit and revenue guidance.

HSBC rallied after the bank posted a rise in first-half profits as it benefited from rising interest rates, and announced a share buyback of up to $2bn.

Drinks company Diageo ticked up as full-year results beat expectations.

Elsewhere, BP managed solid gains despite reporting a 78% drop in its second-quarter attributable profits to $1.79bn.

4imprint surged after a trading statement, while Domino’s and Travis Perkins rose after results.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,675.29 -0.31%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 19,088.58 -0.29%
techMARK (TASX) 4,426.56 -0.30%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Weir Group (WEIR) 1,907.00p 3.92%
BP (BP.) 492.10p 1.88%
BT Group (BT.A) 123.65p 1.35%
Rightmove (RMV) 577.40p 1.23%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 186.80p 1.05%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 652.70p 0.99%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 172.55p 0.85%
Admiral Group (ADM) 2,144.00p 0.70%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 459.40p 0.59%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,165.50p 0.56%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Fresnillo (FRES) 574.40p -7.09%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 152.70p -3.17%
Endeavour Mining (EDV) 1,831.00p -2.61%
M&G (MNG) 195.95p -2.32%
Prudential (PRU) 1,058.00p -2.26%
Beazley (BEZ) 536.50p -2.19%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 239.60p -1.92%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,322.00p -1.65%
Haleon (HLN) 330.85p -1.62%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 838.00p -1.57%

FTSE 250 – Risers

4Imprint Group (FOUR) 4,875.00p 9.92%
Domino’s Pizza Group (DOM) 378.60p 8.98%
Chemring Group (CHG) 300.50p 6.00%
Wizz Air Holdings (WIZZ) 2,436.00p 2.65%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 893.60p 2.62%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 151.60p 2.57%
Me Group International (MEGP) 159.80p 2.30%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 481.50p 2.12%
Marshalls (MSLH) 274.20p 2.08%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,127.00p 1.82%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

Man Group (EMG) 219.10p -8.25%
Greggs (GRG) 2,564.00p -7.17%
Watches of Switzerland Group (WOSG) 723.50p -3.98%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 382.20p -3.34%
Intermediate Capital Group (ICP) 1,365.50p -2.81%
Currys (CURY) 52.10p -2.34%
Darktrace (DARK) 361.40p -2.32%
IWG (IWG) 149.50p -2.22%
AJ Bell (AJB) 320.60p -2.20%
Shaftesbury Capital (SHC) 117.40p -2.00%

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