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London open: Stocks edge lower ahead of G20 meeting as miners retreat

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 30 Nov 2018

London open: Stocks edge lower ahead of G20 meeting as miners retreat

(Sharecast News) - London stocks edged lower in early trade on Friday as miners retreated on the back of disappointing Chinese manufacturing figures, with traders cautious ahead of the G20 meeting.
At 0830 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 0.3% to 7,015.95, though the more domestically focused FTSE 250 was just above flat at 18,610.63. The pound was off 0.1% against the dollar at 1.2782 and flat versus the euro at 1.1229.

All eyes will be on US President Trump and China's Xi Jinping when the G20 meeting gets underway in Argentina later, amid hopes they can come to a truce on trade.

CMC Markets analyst David Madden said: "With President Trump, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. There has been a lot of back and forth in relation to how close they are to doing a deal. Yesterday, Mr Trump declared, they are close to an agreement, but he doesn't 'know if he wants to do it'. The strained trading relationship between the two economic powerhouses has been one of the issues hanging over global stock markets."

Meanwhile, on home shores, Brexit will remain in focus ahead of the House of Commons vote on the deal on 11 December.

Overnight there were reports of groups in Westminster trying to gather support for a compromise deal based on membership of the European Economic Area and a negotiated customs union, believing it would be only version of Brexit that could attract enough Labour and Tory votes to deliver a parliamentary majority. But Theresa May repeated her rejection of such a 'Norway plus' Brexit as it would mean the continuation of freedom of movement.

"Unless there is a swing in sentiment to back Mrs May, sterling is likely to remain under pressure," said Madden.

Investors were also mulling the latest house price data from Nationwide, which found annual price growth ticked a touch higher this month.

House prices were up 0.3% on the month, beating expectations for a 0.1% increase and compared to no growth in September.

On the year, residential prices were 1.9% higher, up from 1.6% growth the month before and beating expectations for 1.7% growth.

Nationwide's chief economist, Robert Gardner, said that although the annual rise of 1.9% was up on the previous month, it was still "relatively subdued".

"Looking forward, much will depend on how broader economic conditions evolve. In the near term, the squeeze on household budgets and the uncertain economic outlook is likely to continue to dampen demand, even though borrowing costs remain low and the unemployment rate is near 40-year lows.

"If the uncertainty lifts in the months ahead and employment continues to rise, there is scope for activity to pick-up through next year. The squeeze on household incomes is already moderating and policymakers have signalled that, if the economy performs as they expect, interest rates are only expected to rise at a modest pace and to a limited extent in the years ahead."

The mining sector was under the cosh after data showed China's manufacturing sector stalled in November for the first time in two years. The official purchasing managers' index fell to 50 this month, coming in below October's 50.2 and expectations, right at the level that separates contraction from expansion. Antofagasta, Anglo American and Glencore were all weaker.

Elsewhere, engineer Babcock slipped after saying it had won a £100m 10-year contract for aerial firefighting by the government of Manitoba, Canada. This is the first firefighting work the group has won outside of Europe and will start in April 2019.

Sage was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 after a downgrade to 'neutral' at Goldman Sachs, while BTG was downgraded to 'hold' at Jefferies and Thomas Cook was cut to 'sell' at Berenberg. Cobham was lifted to 'hold' at SocGen.

Shire edged up as it said that its injectable treatment for hereditary angioedema has been cleared for launch in European, having enjoyed early success in the US.

Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 7,015.95 -0.33%
FTSE 250 (MCX) 18,610.63 0.01%
techMARK (TASX) 3,499.74 0.13%

FTSE 100 - Risers

British Land Company (BLND) 574.60p 0.81%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 6,200.00p 0.75%
BAE Systems (BA.) 493.70p 0.69%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,607.40p 0.61%
BT Group (BT.A) 263.55p 0.61%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 852.40p 0.57%
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 7,110.00p 0.57%
Kingfisher (KGF) 259.00p 0.54%
Pearson (PSON) 965.80p 0.50%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,273.50p 0.45%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Sage Group (SGE) 592.95p -2.15%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,729.00p -1.87%
Aviva (AV.) 404.80p -1.60%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 823.40p -1.55%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,586.60p -1.51%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 465.90p -1.44%
Glencore (GLEN) 289.31p -1.36%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 2,386.50p -1.30%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 136.80p -1.26%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,972.00p -1.23%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Vivo Energy (VVO) 115.66p 3.27%
Primary Health Properties (PHP) 112.00p 2.75%
Intu Properties (INTU) 117.60p 2.71%
888 Holdings (888) 167.30p 2.51%
Britvic (BVIC) 866.50p 2.24%
Greene King (GNK) 547.40p 2.20%
Indivior (INDV) 103.55p 2.12%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,120.00p 2.00%
TalkTalk Telecom Group (TALK) 129.20p 1.81%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 296.00p 1.72%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 32.64p -3.09%
Quilter (QLT) 118.50p -2.39%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,686.20p -2.08%
Superdry (SDRY) 767.50p -1.85%
St. Modwen Properties (SMP) 383.00p -1.85%
Metro Bank (MTRO) 2,142.00p -1.74%
Pershing Square Holdings Ltd NPV (PSH) 1,132.00p -1.74%
CYBG (CYBG) 207.20p -1.71%
Investec (INVP) 481.50p -1.59%
Energean Oil & Gas (ENOG) 565.00p -1.57%


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