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London open: Stocks drop amid rising geopolitical tensions, Italy woes

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Tuesday 23 Oct 2018

London open: Stocks drop amid rising geopolitical tensions, Italy woes

(Sharecast News) - London stocks fell in early trade on Tuesday, taking their cue from sharp losses in Asia amid rising global tensions.
At 0830 BST, the FTSE 100 was down 0.7% to 6,995.82, while the pound was flat against the dollar at 1.2968 and 0.2% higher versus the euro at 1.1327.

"It was all too much for the markets on Tuesday. The poisonous brewing cauldron of geopolitical and economic issues led to one of those opens as nuance-less as it was red," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

"The unresolved US-China trade war (and fears about the latter's economy), the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty, the Khashoggi-related friction between the West and Saudi Arabia, Brexit (all of it, but specifically the rising chances of a no deal divorce), and, perhaps most pertinent to Tuesday, the ongoing EU-Italy budget dispute. A calamitous cavalcade of market concerns, of such seriousness that it is a surprise the global indices ever manage to edge into the green."

On the UK data front, the CBI's industrial trends survey for October is due to be published at 1100 BST.

In corporate news, Whitbread was under the cosh as it posted a 2.6% rise in first-half sales and underlying pre-tax profits as weaker consumer demand hit UK growth of its Premier Inn hote

Anglo American retreated after reporting a 1% year-on-year increase in third-quarter total production on a copper equivalent basis.

St James's Place was also in the red as flow growth slowed in the third-quarter, though funds under management grew to a record £100.6bn.

Intu Properties lost ground after the shopping centre owner said the value of its properties declined 3% since July due to negative investment sentiment towards UK retail property.

Plus500 fell as it posted a drop in third-quarter revenue on the back of low volatility and new regulations, but said trading for 2018 should be ahead of expectations.

Drinks maker Britvic was on the back foot as online fashion retailer ASOS poached its chief financial officer.

On the upside, international distribution and services group Bunzl ticked up as it said third-quarter revenue increased by 7% at constant exchange rates and announced the acquisition of Volk do Brasil, a distributor of personal protection equipment based in Parana, Brazil, for an undisclosed sum.

Builders' merchant Travis Perkins rallied as it hailed a "solid" third quarter, while precious metals miners Randgold and Fresnillo shone as gold prices pushed higher.

In broker note action, Drax was upgraded to 'add' at AlphaValue and Ascential was lifted to 'buy' at Peel Hunt.

HSBC was cut to 'neutral' at Citi, while CYBG was initiated at 'underweight' by Barclays.



Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,995.82 -0.67%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,573.25 -0.99%
techMARK (TASX) 3,291.17 -0.55%

FTSE 100 - Risers

Fresnillo (FRES) 910.00p 1.61%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 6,384.42p 1.40%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,869.50p 0.70%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 715.40p 0.56%
Shire Plc (SHP) 4,530.00p 0.54%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 152.00p 0.50%
National Grid (NG.) 833.30p 0.48%
Persimmon (PSN) 2,199.00p 0.41%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 4,490.00p 0.38%
Bunzl (BNZL) 2,192.00p 0.32%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

St James's Place (STJ) 1,007.00p -2.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 755.40p -2.33%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,625.80p -2.25%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 474.19p -1.87%
Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) 257.50p -1.83%
Whitbread (WTB) 4,383.00p -1.81%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,751.00p -1.79%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 290.30p -1.76%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 613.50p -1.70%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,789.50p -1.62%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Ascential (ASCL) 387.40p 3.80%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,001.50p 2.19%
Polymetal International (POLY) 739.40p 1.04%
Premier Oil (PMO) 115.00p 0.88%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 259.87p 0.72%
Hastings Group Holdings (HSTG) 228.00p 0.71%
Saga (SAGA) 130.80p 0.54%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 101.49p 0.48%
AA (AA.) 100.70p 0.40%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 306.60p 0.20%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Avast (AVST) 274.60p -7.01%
IntegraFin Holding (IHP) 297.00p -4.81%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 114.40p -4.67%
Fidelity China Special Situations (FCSS) 191.00p -3.24%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 456.30p -3.22%
Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 2,220.00p -2.89%
Plus500 Ltd (DI) (PLUS) 1,212.00p -2.88%
Stobart Group Ltd. (STOB) 213.28p -2.83%
Mediclinic International (MDC) 361.20p -2.67%
Provident Financial (PFG) 524.40p -2.53%

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