FTSE falters on poor China data, with BP slipping ahead of results

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “FTSE falters on poor China data, with BP slipping ahead of results” was written by Nick Fletcher, for theguardian.com on Monday 1st February 2016 09.49 UTC

With yet more disappointing Chinese data knocking back crude prices, commodity companies are again among the leading fallers as markets edge lower.

After a turbulent January for investors, February is getting off to a downbeat start with the FTSE 100 currently down 20.01 points at 6063.78.

Brent crude, which regained some ground last week, has slipped 1.4% to $35.48 after the poor Chinese manufacturing figures.

So BP is down 4.4p at 371.7p ahead of results on Tuesday when it is expected to report a 70% fall in underlying profits. It has not been helped by Exane BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank both cutting their recommendations. Exane has reduced its target price by 3% to 330p while Deutsche Bank has moved from 450p to 445p.

Prudential has dropped 38p to 1329.5p on news that the chief executive of its M&G Investments business, Michael Mclintock, would retire after 19 years at the company.

But BT is 15.15p better at 500p after it reported its best revenue growth for seven years in its third quarter. The company, which has just completed the acquisition of mobile group EE, said revenues had risen 4.7% with profits up 14% to £928m.

Anglo American has added 5.85p to 283.30p continuing its recent recovery, while InterContinental Hotels has climbed 24p to £23.21 following weekend reports of a possible $1bn return to shareholders.

Rolls-Royce has unveiled a $2.7bn order from Norwegian for Trent engines and a service support package but its shares have failed to power ahead, falling 5p to 550p. Analysts at Liberum said:

[This] is the biggest order since new chief executive Warren East took over at the company in July last year and good to see Rolls can still beat General Electric. However IFRS 15 [ a new accounting standard which comes into force in 2018] still clouds the earnings horizon and investors will need to wait until the end of the decade for more attractive cash generation. Hence, we remain on hold.

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