The FTSE 100 index is struggling to stay afloat this morning on anticipation of a Bank of England base rate rise at noon today and results figures from BT.
The FTSE 100 index is currently down a fraction at 6,237, after BT Group announced Q2 profit rose 28% and net income climbed £475m in the three months to Sept 30th, on the back of broadband internet sales and computer networking contracts, which both offset the reducing sales of traditional voice calls.
While this appears to be better than analysts anticipated, investors are still selling the shares, and BT Group is down 7.5p or 2.57% to 284.25p.
Mining stocks are also dropping – Xstrata and Kazakhyms seeing the worst of the losses – but in contrast, power companies are again making gains this morning, and helping to keep the FTSE from falling further, as Cairn is up 28p or 1.54% to £18.48 and International has added .725p or 2.11% to 351.5p.
Scottish Power is one of those benefiting again today – having been the best performer yesterday – rising 28.5p or 3.9% to £758p.
In Asia today, banking stocks led activity in most of the region, albeit the trend was downwards in Japan after a Japanese central bank report suggested lending had slowed for the third month in a row.
The Nikkei 225 index fell 17 points or 0.11% to 16,198.57, led by Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest bank by assets, which fell 1.4% to 1.44m yen and Sumitomo Trust, down 0.9% to 1,209 yen. Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the No. 2, declined 0.8 percent to 863,000 yen.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, however, hit another high, closing up 0.8% to a record 18,952.86, led by China Mobile, after a report suggested shares of mainland phone companies and banks are likely to outperform.
And South Korea's Kospi index hit a six-month high, rising 1.4% to just under 1,400.
In the US yesterday, markets recovered slightly as the results of the mid-term elections went in the Democrats’ favour.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19.7 points or 0.16% to 12,176 while the Nasdaq Composite index added 9 points or 0.38% to almost 2,395 and the S&P 500 index rose 0.2% to 1,385.IFAonline
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