London open: Stocks dip at the start of the week

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.”

As at 0846 BST, the FTSE 100 was dipping 23.1 points to 7,541.29, while the second-tier index was off by 38.01 points to 18,896.72.

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%.

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%.

In parallel, 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) 7,536.99 -0.36%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,886.45 -0.25%
techMARK (TASX) 4,356.99 -0.18%

FTSE 100 – Risers

Convatec Group (CTEC) 226.80p 1.07%
Barclays (BARC) 151.60p 0.57%
NATWEST GROUP (NWG) 238.60p 0.51%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 43.35p 0.48%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 979.20p 0.37%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 638.50p 0.33%
BAE Systems (BA.) 1,012.00p 0.30%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 114.70p 0.26%
GSK (GSK) 1,349.40p 0.18%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) 8,152.00p 0.17%

FTSE 100 – Fallers

Unite Group (UTG) 946.00p -1.77%
Glencore (GLEN) 456.40p -1.47%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 117.40p -1.34%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,213.00p -1.32%
Flutter Entertainment (CDI) (FLTR) 14,970.00p -1.25%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,614.00p -1.19%
RS Group (RS1) 781.40p -1.19%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,133.50p -1.18%
BT Group (BT.A) 113.55p -1.17%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 853.00p -1.14%

FTSE 250 – Risers

Helios Towers (HTWS) 90.00p 3.03%
PureTech Health (PRTC) 209.50p 1.95%
Target Healthcare Reit Ltd (THRL) 74.50p 1.78%
IP Group (IPO) 58.90p 1.55%
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (AML) 374.80p 1.52%
Baltic Classifieds Group (BCG) 202.50p 1.25%
TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 609.00p 1.16%
Ruffer Investment Company Ltd Red PTG Pref Shares (RICA) 276.50p 1.10%
Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited NPV (SONG) 77.60p 1.04%
Chemring Group (CHG) 304.50p 1.00%

FTSE 250 – Fallers

CMC Markets (CMCX) 129.80p -3.85%
Discoverie Group (DSCV) 751.00p -3.72%
Morgan Advanced Materials (MGAM) 253.00p -2.69%
Worldwide Healthcare Trust (WWH) 296.00p -2.31%
Future (FUTR) 773.50p -2.15%
Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust (HSL) 736.00p -2.00%
Assura (AGR) 46.36p -1.99%
Elementis (ELM) 112.20p -1.92%
Sequoia Economic Infrastructure Income Fund Limited (SEQI) 81.00p -1.58%
Ibstock (IBST) 152.60p -1.55%

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