US investor confidence is slowing creeping over the pond and affecting the UK stockmarkets this morn...
US investor confidence is slowing creeping over the pond and affecting the UK stockmarkets this morning, as there is concern that an economic recovery may not lift corporate profits as much as forecast.
Vodafone Group, AstraZeneca and Royal Bank of Scotland Group led declines as the FTSE 100 lost 28.2 points or 0.6% to 4628.2 in early trading.
Vodafone lost 1.25p, or 1.4%, to 88.75p largely because the economic is expected to hit this huge company fairly hard. The European Commission has said it expects the region's economy to grow by 1.4% this year, at the slowest pace since 1993.
AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical firm, also shed 41p, or 1.5%, to 2,675p while Royal Bank of Scotland lost 20p, or 1.1%, to 1,840p.
Express Dairies climbed 1.25p, or 4.4%, to 29.5p as Britain's second-largest milk and cream supplier now plans to sell its UHT and Express and Frome Creamery units to Milk Link for £33.1m, and then form a joint venture with Milk Link to produce fresh cream and other dairy products.
John Laing gained 6p, or 3.5%, to 175.5p as first-half sales at the UK construction and engineering company are in line with its expectations. The homes division sold 640 units in the six months through June, compared with 567 units in the same period last year.
Total Systems also added 6p, or 6.2%, to 103.5p, its highest for five weeks, as the maker of financial services software managed to almost double full-year profits to £993,538 from £516,089 the previous year, because clients such as insurers and fund managers bought more of its accountancy and business-to-consumer internet software. Sales climbed 40% to £5.38m.
Given the negative activity in the US on Friday, it's hardly surprising European markets are now being affected.
Having said that, the Dow Jones and Standard & Poor's 500 index did not fall as much as it could have done, particularly as there were claims of accounting errors at US firm Xerox.
The S&P 500 fell 0.82 points, or 0.1%, to 989.82, but it was telecoms stocks such as AT&T Corp. which added the most value for one.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 26.66 points, or 0.3%, to 9243.26, but the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 4.01 points, or 0.3%, to 1463.21.
Xerox slid $1.03, or 13%, to $6.97 after it was revealed the company inflated revenue by $1.9bn over the past five years by misreporting the timing and makeup of equipment sales. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission already fined the company a record $10 million in April because of the false reporting of about $3 billion in sales.
Drug shares were worst hit on Friday as Pfizer lost $1.75 to $35, Johnson & Johnson dropped $2.15 to $52.26, Abbott Laboratories fell $1.50 to $37.65 and Wyeth shed $1.48 to $51.20.
Nike, however, jumped $2.23 to $53.65 as the company said fourth- quarter profit increased 28% as it discounted fewer items.
Partner Insight: Continuing the Architas education series for clients.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
290,000 already affected
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews