LONDON (ShareCast) – 1630: Close The FTSE slumped in the final session of the week, as markets around the world did the same. Aberdeen led the way lower after receiving a ratings downgrade by Morgan Stanley (Berlin: DWD.BE – news) to ‘underweight’, while modest gains were seen by precious metal miners as they tracked prices higher. On the macro front, the UK approved 46,521 loans for house purchases worth 7.7bn pounds last month, compared to a forecast of 47,300. The FTSE 100 closed down 109.54 points at 6,663.74.
1500:David Cameron has announced a new government body to spur companies to locate jobs in the UK rather than the Far East (Kuala Lumpur: 5029.KL – news) . He said he hoped Britain could become the ‘reshore nation’ by encouraging firms to support the UK and stop offshoring – the practice of moving jobs to countries such as China or India to cut costs. “There is now an opportunity for the reverse,” he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “There is an opportunity for some of those jobs to come back.”
1400: UK Chancellor George Osborne has clashed with US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Summers said the US had recovered its 2008 output peak several years ago while the UK was still languishing below that level. Osborne hit back by saying the UK had experienced a larger recession than the US in 2008-09.
1236: Governor Carney is reportedly making remarks to the effect that the Bank of England will look at options to update its guidance in its next Inflation Report, in February. The FTSE 100 is down 57 to 6,716.
1146: The FTSE 100 is now trading down by over one per cent with stock futures in the States pointing to a similarly bearish start on Wall Street in the coming hours as US indices pick up from where they left off after a sell-off on Thursday. ‘Traders are asking themselves if Thursday’s negativity was simply a bit of a shake-out or the start of a more extensive move lower,’ said Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst from IG (LSE: IGG.L – news) . The FTSE 100 is down 74.11 at 6,699.17.
0918: Markets have turned lower as fund manager Aberdeen continues to extend losses after a ratings downgrade by Morgan Stanley to ‘underweight’ this morning. The bank said that a deteriorating fund performance compounds challenging emerging-market fundamentals, ‘increasing the risk of negative revisions and further multiple de-rating at Aberdeen’. Budget airline easyJet is lower after HSBC lowered its rating on the company today to ‘underweight’. Cafe, restaurant and hotel owner Whitbread (LSE: WTB.L – news) is also down after Citigroup (NYSE: C – news) cut the stock to ‘neutral’. The FTSE 100 is down 21.77 at 6,751.51.
0837: Markets have opened more or less flat after some heavy falls on Thursday as traders head into the weekend in a cautious mood. Investors are this morning reacting to comments made by BoE Governor Mark Carney overnight, who signalled that his ‘forward guidance’ plan could be scrapped just six months after it began. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said that the UK economy was ‘in a different place’ from last summer. Aberdeen, easyJet and Whitbread are all trading lower this morning after broker downgrades. The FTSE 100 is down 3.45 at 6,769.83.