Wednesday, August 24, 2011

London open: Admiral drags Footsie into the red

Early gains proved short-lived as the blue chip index in London fell into the red by 08.32, dragged lower by Admiral and the miners, who were registering losses on the back of falling metals prices.

Admiral was the worst performer on the FTSE 100, losing over 5% after despite pre-tax profits growing by 27%. However, according to a Thomson Reuters poll, the result was a slight miss though.

Gold, copper and silver prices were on the decline in the morning, hitting shares in the mining sector with Randgold Resources, Fresnillo and Vedanta Resourcesamong the fallers.

Sector peer BHP Billiton, however, was making small gains after seeing a 35.9% jump in revenue in the year ended June. The final dividend was upped by 22%.

Outsourcing firm Serco fell despite saying it overcame UK and US headwinds to deliver a 12.2% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit, driven by its international portfolio.

ENRCCatlin and WS Atkins were also among the fallers after going ex-dividend.

On the rise, however, were the financials, with Man Group, RBS, Lloyds, Barclaysand ICAP posting decent gains.

Advertising and marketing group WPP, led by chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell, rose saying the "post-Lehman bounce-back" has continued as it posted pre-tax profit growth of 37% on sales that grew 6.1% in the six months to 30 June.

Africa-focused oil giant Tullow Oil was firmer after it reported a huge surge in sales and profits in the six months ended 30 June, helped by increased production from the Jubilee field off Ghana and higher commodity prices.

Tesco was edging higher after an announcement that Andrew Higginson, chief executive of Retailing Services at the supermarket giant, is heading for the check-out counter next year. 


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