MIDDAY REPORT: Headline shares moved slightly lower in midday trade today, as a reversal in fortunes from banking issues added to weakness amongst the heavyweight miners.
At midday, the FTSE100 was down 12.34 points at 5,862.55 with the FTSE250 off 2.1 points at 11,653 and the FTSE Smallcaps slightly lower at 3,135.75.
US stock futures suggest a slightly lower start ahead of the latest factory orders data and minutes of the latest Fed meeting.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were down 14 points at 13,175, S&P500 futures lost 2 points at 1,410 and Nasdaq 100 futures were flat at 2,776.
It was a cautious start in London, with little corporate news ahead of the Easter weekend break, and with volumes slim as traders headed off for early holidays. Focus turned to factory orders data due from the US this afternoon.
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management topped the midday leaderboard, up 6.5p at 265.6p, while peer Ashmore ticked up 1.15p at 374.85p.
Interdealer broker ICAP was also a good performer, gaining 1.25p at 394.05p.
The pharmaceutical giants were in focus, with GlaxoSmithKline up 4.25p at 1,433.25 on reporting progress on its new diabetes drug, while AstraZeneca gained 22p at 2,847p on news it is joining up with US bio company Amgen to bring to develop a range of inflammation treatments.
Fashion retailers were popular, with luxury brand Burberry up 24.5p at 1,552.5p and frock shop chain Next ahead 8.5p at 3,049.5p.
ARM Holdings ticked up 2.25p at 609.75p, with investors impressed by news it is setting up a JV with Giesecke and Devrient to deliver a secure environment for advanced services running on smartphones and tablet computers.
Other notable gainers included oil major Shell, up 11.25p at 2,253.25p, engineer IMI, ahead 10.5p at 1,005.5p, and
Miners presented a mixed picture, with Antofagasta gaining 1p at 1,154p and Xstrata ahead 5p at 1,102p, while Vedanta Resources slipped 16.5p at 1,243.5p and Anglo American dropped 21.5p at 2,347p.
Bank backed away from solid early gains, with Barclays slipping 3.15p at 233.3p, Lloyds 0.43p lower at 33.15p and Royal Bank of Scotland edging down 0.75p at 27p.
The supermarket operators failed to find friends, with Morrisons down 1.8p at 300.6p, Sainsbury off 2.7p at 311.3p and Tesco 1.57p lower at 332.43p.
Compass Group slumped 13p at 658p after Morgan Stanley downgraded the global caterer from overweight equal-weight, while raising its target price from 630p to 670p.
Other notable casualties included distribution group Bunzl, down 13.5p at 1,014.5p, publisher Pearson, off 25.5p at 1,195.5p, and builders' merchant group CRH, 14.5p lower at 1,284.5p.
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