MORNING REPORT: Headline shares were firmly lower in early deals today, with news of slowing growth in China impacting the miners and the banks looking fragile as Eurozone concerns linger on.
In early trade, the FTSE100 was down 23.53 points at 5,686.93 with the FTSE250 off 33.9 points at 11,380.6 and the FTSE Smallcaps 4.2 points higher at 3,112.9.
US & ASIA
In the US last night, the Dow rose 181 points at 12,987, the Nasdaq added 39 points at 3,056 and the S&P500 gained 19 points at 1,388.
In Asia today, the Nikkei closed up 113 points at 9,638, while the Hang Seng was recently ahead 380 points at 20,707.
News of a slowdown in China GDP growth pushed base metals prices lower today, impacting the mining sector. Meanwhile, financial stocks wavered as Eurozone concerns refuse to subside.
The miners put in a mixed performance, with Vedanta Resources the runt of the litter, down 16p at 1,197p and Randgold Resources 17.5p lower at 5,592.5p. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto rose 6.75p at 3,493.75p and BHP Billiton edged up 2.5p at 1,909p.
Glencore International gained 1.15p at 406.05p and Xstrata rose 6.75p at 1,112.25p despite the duo announcing a delay in their merger plans today.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell jumped to the top of the early leaderboard, rising 20.25p at 2,194.25p, with investors re-assured that there were no spill issues for the company in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, BP and BG Group slipped 0.85p at 444p and 2.75p at 1,404.25p, respectively, as crude prices eased.
It was a red start for financial issues, with Royal Bank of Scotland leading the banks lower, down 0.46p at 25.5p. Lloyds lost 0.165p at 31.75p and Barclays eased 1.27p at 222.18p.
A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgrade for BSkyB to underperform continued to plague the satellite broadcaster, the shares slipping 8.5p at 653.5p.
Supermarket operator Morrisons was the only blue chip retailer to make any progress, improving 1.15p at 292.55p. Elsewhere, Marks & Spencer dropped 3.2p at 372.1p, Tesco edged down 1.37p at 324.48p and Sainsbury was 0.8p lower at 301.5p. â€?
Sage Group sank to the bottom of the blue chip league, down 9.2p at 286.3p, after Jefferies International downgraded the business software provider from buy to hold and trimmed its target price from 345p to 320p.
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