LONDON (ShareCast) – – Smiths and Tullow disappoint
– FTSE opens 16 points lower
– Ukraine, European elections in focus

techMARK 2,741.75 -0.09%
FTSE 100 6,801.45 -0.28%
FTSE 250 15,657.08 -0.11%

The FTSE opened lower this morning, falling around 16 points in the first hour of trade, weighed by disappointing announcements from Smiths Group (Other OTC: SMGKF – news) and Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW.L – news) .

Investors are also easing back ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, the presidential elections in Ukraine and the elections for the European Parliament.

David White at SpreadEx said: “Asian stocks once again traded higher overnight, with the Nikkei up almost 1% as the China Shenzhen inflated 0.4%. Precious metals and energies are largely unchanged, as Brent crude oil holds the $ 110 level.

“Here in London the FTSE 100 has opened largely unchanged, down by just a few points. The same can be said for other European indices. Closing out a positive week for large-cap stock indices will help establish a somewhat positive tone against the typical ‘sell in May’ mantra, though it is early yet. Later today investors will turn to how risk appetite fairs into the weekend, using the US open and the performance of Treasuries as a gauge.”

Giving a morning technical view, Mike van Dulken, Head (Other OTC: HEDYY – news) of Research at Accendo Markets, commented to its clients this morning: “The 6820 breakout on the one-week chart failed at 6850, which has seen a retrace back to round number 6800. This could lead to a revisit of the lows of 6765 before we make another move higher.

“The one-month and three-month charts hint at this with their falling highs and channels. Support available via the intersecting trendline from end-Feb which would help keeping us in the upper end of the recent range and the uptrend alive. The longer term chart shows potentially further to fall for a true consolidation. Long weekends in the US and UK may be taken as an excuse for some risk to be taken off the table.”

LSE jumps after broker upgrade

In company news, London Stock Exchange (Other OTC: LDNXF – news) raced ahead after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB – news) upgraded it from ‘sell’ to ‘neutral’.

Standard Life (LSE: SL.L – news) rose on the news it has appointed a new Chief Financial Officer. Luke Savage, who will take up the position from August 18th, is described as a “leading industry executive with extensive experience of insurance and investment services”.

A joint venture of bus and train operator Go-Ahead and a company part-owned by French state railway SNCF has won the battle to run the new Thameslink rail super-franchise in London and south-east England, sending shares in the FTSE 250-listed group soaring. Govia, which currently runs the Southern (Berlin: SOT.BE – news) , Southeastern and London Midland franchises, has secured the deal to run the enlarged Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise.

However, First Group slumped after missing out.

BTG (Other OTC: BTGGF – news) soared on the news it has been granted clearance for its EkoSonic Endovascular System treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The minimally invasive treatment carries out the ultrasound-facilitated, controlled and selective infusion of physician-specified fluids, including thrombolytics, for the treatment of PE.

Meanwhile, x-ray scanner and medical equipment maker Smiths Group fell to the bottom of the pile after it unveiled weaker revenue as tough trading in its detection and medical businesses spoilt a good performance at its John Crane energy services operation. Smiths said underlying revenue in the nine months to May 3rd would be slightly lower than in the same period a year ago due to issues in detection, which makes security scanners for airports, and medical, which makes surgical devices.

Tullow Oil shares also dropped after it said the Shimela-1 well, onshore Ethiopia, has encountered water bearing reservoirs and that only traces of thermogenic gas shows were recorded after drilling to a final depth of 1,940 metres.

FTSE 100 – Risers
Sports Direct International (Other OTC: SDISY – news) (SPD) 780.00p +1.43%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,829.00p +1.11%
Rexam (Frankfurt: RXM1.F – news) (REX) 531.50p +0.85%
WPP (Frankfurt: 0WP.F – news) (WPP (Other OTC: WPPGF – news) ) 1,272.00p +0.55%
SSE (Berlin: SCT.BE – news) (SSE (LSE: SSE.L – news) ) 1,548.00p +0.39%
Mondi (Frankfurt: KYC.F – news) (MNDI) 1,056.00p +0.38%
Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE – news) (J) (SBRY) 343.80p +0.38%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,525.00p +0.33%
GKN (Berlin: GKN.BE – news) (GKN (LSE: GKN.L – news) ) 385.20p +0.31%
Standard Life (SL.) 394.30p +0.31%

FTSE 100 – Fallers
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,273.00p -3.19%
Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN.L – news) (SN.) 941.50p -1.52%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 839.50p -1.41%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 202.80p -1.02%
Whitbread (Frankfurt: WHF4.F – news) (WTB) 4,109.00p -0.96%
SABMiller (Berlin: BRW1.BE – news) (SAB) 3,340.00p -0.95%
Compass Group (Other OTC: CMPGF – news) (CPG) 993.50p -0.85%
Next (Dusseldorf: NXG.DU – news) (NXT) 6,605.00p -0.83%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,329.00p -0.82%
Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 – news) (RIO) 3,204.00p -0.81%

FTSE 250 – Risers
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 2,109.00p +8.77%
BTG (LSE: BTG.L – news) (BTG) 570.00p +4.20%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 140.50p +2.55%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LSE: DPH.L – news) (DPH) 714.50p +2.36%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 346.60p +1.64%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 126.76p +1.41%
Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.L – news) (FDSA) 2,226.00p +1.37%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 386.60p +1.18%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 432.90p +1.17%
Perform Group (Frankfurt: 8PG.F – news) (PER) 268.00p +1.13%

FTSE 250 – Fallers
FirstGroup (Dusseldorf: FGR.DU – news) (FGP (BSE: FGP.BO – news) ) 130.00p -3.56%
Halfords Group (LSE: HFD.L – news) (HFD) 474.80p -2.70%
Infinis Energy (Frankfurt: IF0.F – news) (INFI) 200.00p -1.96%
Computacenter (CCC) 608.50p -1.70%
Genus (GNS) 1,061.00p -1.67%
Investec (INVP) 502.00p -1.67%
Home Retail Group (Frankfurt: PZR.F – news) (HOME) 189.10p -1.66%
Electrocomponents (Frankfurt: ECN.F – news) (ECM) 276.20p -1.57%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 217.30p -1.54%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 303.00p -1.40%