Friday, June 25, 2010

London midday: Stormy weather for BP

Date: Friday 25 Jun 2010

Mining stocks and BP have combined to spoil what was a firm start by London’s blue-chip stocks, with even the weather now appearing to have it in for the beleaguered UK oil giant.

Mining stocks such as 
ENRC, Lonmin and Kazkhmys suffer chunky falls but these are dwarfed by BP shares, which are having another bad day.

Nomura Securities has raised the possibility that BP may have to raise funds to meet its liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico spill while others are more concerned about the prospect of the first tropical storm of the hurricane season forming this week-end and moving down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it will hamper the firm’s clean-up campaign.

The company said this morning that it has spent another $350,000 (£234,000) on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster since Monday, taking the total cost to date up to $2.35bn (£1.57bn) and the number of people dealing with the response effort to some 37,000.

The banking sector provides some elements of cheer, but it is the emerging markets focused banks - 
Standard Chartered and HSBC that are doing best. Part-nationalised lenders Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking have given up early gains, as has Barclays.

Focus is on the sector after the release of a jam-packed financial stability report from the Bank of England that covered everything from savings ratios to the threat of the eurozone.

The market seems to have focused on the comment that any introduction of new capital and liquidity rules will be staggered, possibly over five years.

Mobile phone network giant 
Vodafone gets a lift from a “buy” note from broker Collins Stewart.

Anglo-Swedish drugs group 
AstraZeneca said the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reset the decision date for its review of Astra’s motavizumab drug to August 27. An FDA panel had raised concerns about the respiratory disease treatment in a statement released on 2 June.

Berkeley reports the housing market in London and the South East has stabilised as it reported better than expected full-year figures. Pre-tax profit dropped 8.4% to £110.3m in the year ended 30 April, on sales of £615.3m compared with £702.2m last year. The market expected Berkeley to announce pre-tax profits in the region of £104.4m on sales of £587m.

Ground preparation engineer 
Keller reports no pick-up in its struggling US business, but on a more optimistic note it hasn't seen any further deterioration either so the shares are higher this morning.

It’s a case of 'carry on as you were' at laundry and workwear group 
Davis Servicewhich continues to trade in line with expectations. Revenues continue to show little change from last year's levels while margins continue to improve.

Sausage skin maker 
Devro has made a stronger than expected finish to the first half of the year. The group told the market in May trading was ahead of expectations, but today reported continuing progress in sales, pricing, volume growth and manufacturing efficiency since then.
Cinema chain Cineworld has won the gig to operate the O2 multiplex cinema in London for the next 25 years.

Personal products group 
Creightons said shoppers were turning to lower priced items as it posted a reduction in pre-tax profits in the year to March 31.
Finders Resources’ reverse circulation drilling programme at the Ojolali gold-silver project in Sumatra should end today, the company said this morning. “Visually, the drilling has supported the target geological concept … including a vein zone of approximately 20m true width at Tambang,”

Shares in TV production group 
Talent jumped after it narrowed losses, saying it is coping with tough economic conditions.
FTSE 100 - Risers 
ICAP (IAP) 419.30p +1.92%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,741.00p +1.78%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 145.25p +1.64%
SEGRO (SGRO) 264.40p +1.61%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,149.50p +1.49%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 646.40p +1.46%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 530.50p +1.05%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 3,084.00p +0.98%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,251.00p +0.89%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 634.00p +0.63%
FTSE 100 - Fallers 
BP (BP.) 302.75p -6.92%
Eurasian Natural Resources (ENRC) 932.50p -3.57%
Lonmin (LMI) 1,540.00p -2.59%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 1,083.00p -2.43%
Man Group (EMG) 247.90p -2.40%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 1,061.00p -2.39%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 2,268.00p -2.33%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 836.00p -2.28%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 55.05p -2.24%
Xstrata (XTA) 965.40p -2.02% 

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