LONDON (ShareCast) – 1630:Close The FTSE closed firmly lower, dragged by Coca-Cola HBC on readacross from Diageo (LSE: DGE.L – news) , which posted poor H1 results, while BT charged higher after its Q3 beat analyst forecasts. In macro news, UK consumer confidence rose more than expected in January to -7 from -31 in December, surprising analysts who had predicted a reading of -12. Over in the Eurozone, unemployment dropped from its record high from 12.1 per cent (pc) to 12.0pc month-on-month, while inflation surprised with a drop to 0.7pc in January from 0.8pc in December. In Germany, retail sales registered a surprise slump in December, while in the US, Chicago PMI came in just above expectations. The FTSE 100 closed down 28.01 points at 6,510.44, down 153 points on the week.
1615: The fall in the top-flight index seems to be stalling at its exponential 200-day moving average.
1555: Domino’s Pizza is now up against its 50-day moving average. It will be interesting to see if it gets a second chance to pierce resistance at the 200-day average. The latter is often seen as distinguishing between a ‘bear’ and a ‘bull’ trend.
1530: Randgold Resources (Dusseldorf: RGR1.DU – news) advanced as it announced Chairman Philippe Liétard will step down and be replaced by Christopher Coleman, who has been an independent Non-Executive Director of the gold miner since 2008.
1519: S&P 500 heading towards technical support level at 1,775 again.
1505: “Euro inflation expectations are very low and there is more pressure on the ECB [ to lower rates] even though the euro recovery is on track,” Danske Bank (Other OTC: DNSKF – news) says.
1455: The University of Michigan´s final reading on consumer confidence in the US for the month of January has come in at 81.2 versus a preliminary reading of 80.4 and of 82.5 for the month before (consensus: 81). The expectations subindex slipped to come in just below forecasts.
1445: MNI´s regional Purchasing Managers´ Index for Chicago has printed in at 59.6 for January, just ahead of the 59 expected.
1431: Regarding today´s weak reading on personal incomes Stateside Capital Economics points out that the figures were impacted by three extraordinary factors: lower agricultural prices, decreased medicaid payments and the effect of bad weather on jobs growth.
1415: Turkey has a problem. Politics? We will let our readers decide for themselves, but for Bank of America (TLO: BAC.TI – news) -Merrill Lynch it isn´t the politics that´s weighing on the lira, rather it has to do with mismatches in corporate financing. This is a very important point brought up by others over the last few days. Their analysts write that: “[…] it’s less politics and more corporate FX borrowing that is Turkey’s liability. Will the government finally propose measures to dis- incentivize the corporate FX mismatch which has forced TRY supportive shock rate hikes in 2006, 2011 and now 2014?”
1412: Coca Cola HBC has dropped to the bottom of the leaderboard, but shares of Aberdeen Asset Management (Other OTC: ABDNF – news) are a close second given the market chatter regarding emerging market worries.
1348: Shares in the likes of African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L – news) , Randgold or Fresnillo (Other OTC: FNLPF – news) seem to be perking up as gold futures bounce following yesterday´s losses. Anything relating to emerging market fears seem to be taken in stride by the three. Dominos has been added to Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS – news) ´s Small and Mid-cap Focus List. FTSE 100 down 98 to 6,441.
1330: US personal income and spending rose by zero per cent month-on-month (consensus: 0.2 per cent) and 0.4 per cent (consensus: 0.2 per cent) in December.
1253: US giant Wal Mart (NYSE: WMT – news) has warned on Q4 EPS guidance.
1234: The downdraft in markets today is being laid at the feet of the weaker than expected reading on Eurozone consumer price inflation this morning which in turn, it is said, sparked selling in emerging market currencies. Sentiment nevertheless had probably already soured this morning following reports of Moscow´s increasing need to prop up the Rouble. Deutsche Bank (Xetra: DBK.DE – news) reportedly now sees the ECB cutting rates come next February 6th. FTSE 100 down 74 to 6,464.
1146: Blinkx (Other OTC: BLNKF – news) is bouncing back after yesterday´s punishment. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB – news) has reiterated its Conviction Buy rating but comments that: “However we acknowledge that additional clarity from management to alleviate concerns around its business model is key for share price recovery”,the FT´s Alphaville is saying. FTSE 100 down 71 to 6,467.
1139: Next (Dusseldorf: NXG.DU – news) announces that a further special dividend of 50p will be paid on May 1st.
1120: Shares of Diageo are again being punished even after yesterday´s thrashing, with Goldman Sachs having issued a negative research note on the stock this morning from a fundamental perspective. However, for those who can tolerate the adrenaline rush – and potentially very hefty losses – in the very short-term the shares might try to at least climb back and try to ‘fill-in’ the gap which they have left behind. That, at least, is the possibility that Thursday´s ‘hammer’ price formation seems to be holding out as long as Thursday´s intraday minimum price (at 1,691p) is not lost on a close of day basis. Nevertheless, from a more medium-term perspective the share price graph has suddenly turned quite ugly, which must not be ignored. Hence, any bounce in the coming sessions which sees prices approaching the area around 1,880p may, more-likely-than-not, be a second opportunity for those trapped inside to cut their losses at a better price, comments Alex Bueso at Sharecast.
1027: Shares of National Grid (LSE: NG.L – news) continue to power ahead, slowly but surely for now. There is a clear technical up-trend line – dating all the way back to the end of December of 2011 – in place. So long as it remains above that then it should continue to grind higher, at least from a technical perspective, comment technical analysts at Sharecast. Today the shares have received a small boost in the form of an upgrade out of analysts at HSBC to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’.
1000: The Eurozone Consumer Price Index edged lower in January, hitting 0.7 per cent year-on-year, versus 0.8 per cent in the year before. Unemployment in the euro area, meanwhile, was a touch lower than expected at 12 per cent.
0935: Ex-Morgan Stanley Chief Economist Stephen Roach is apparently warning against undue optimism on the US economy. Overnight he has reportedly come out highlighting how the recent growth spurt Stateside has in no mean measure been the result of inventory re-stocking. He also calls attention to the still high debt/income burdens of US households – which are 35 per cent above the average of recent decades.
0927: The Turkish lira is trading just about flat this morning, at 0.4430. FTSE 100 down 26 to 6,513.
0852: Goldman Sachs gave tobacco giant Imperial a lift this morning after upgrading its stance to ‘conviction buy’ from ‘neutral’ and raising its target from 2,545p to 2,840p. Credit Suisse has raised its view on Domino´s Pizza to ‘outperform’. Paragon Group is at the top of the leaderboard for the FTSE 250 following its first quarter results.
0828: UK stocks have begun the day moving slightly higher, benefitting from yesterday´s rise in US stocks. BT is in the lead out on the Footsie after guiding towards the top end of its guidance for the full-year. Stock in Imperial Tobacco (LSE: IMT.L – news) is close behind on the heels of an upgrade out of Goldman Sachs. Analysts at Jefferies have raised their target price on Dairy Crest (LSE: DCG.L – news) this morning, to 575p from 485p. Figures out overnight revealed a larger than expected increase in ‘core’ Japanese consumer price inflation, alongside a large drop in the unemployment rate. Retail sales data out in Germany this morning, on the other hand, revealed an unexpected drop. US inflation (core PCE) and Chicago PMI figures will be closely watched by investors. GfK (Frankfurt: GFK.F – news) today confirmed the large rise seen in UK consumer confidence, during the month of January, in Thursday´s European Commission survey results. FTSE 100 up 4 to 6,543.