The FTSE 100 closed with a 1.1% loss yesterday, still pressured by last week's disappointing weak US jobs data and Hungary’s fiscal problems, while getting limited support from a better than expected manufacturing update that came out in Germany. The UK's blue chip index is seen 0.2% higher today.
Chipmaker ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM) led the blue chips with a 3.1% advance. Just two other FTSE 100 constituents added more than 1% with security services group G4S (LSE: GFS) and temporary power provider Aggreko (LSE: AGK) tacking on nearly 2%. Gold miner Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) posted a gain of almost 1%.
Copper miner Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and insurer Prudential (LSE: PRU) were at the bottom of the pile with losses of 4%. Other base metal miners Xstrata (LSE: XTA) and Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED) and Lonmin (LSE: LMI) shed slightly more than 3%. Commercial property company Segro (LSE: SGRO) retreated 3%, while part-nationalised bank Lloyds (LSE: LLOY) and asset management company Schroders (LSE: SDR) lost more than 2.5%.
Most Asian markets were in buying mode today. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.35%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.25%, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2%, South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.8% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rallied 1.1%.
Oil prices were slightly higher. July Brent Crude rose to US$72.38/barrel, while US light, sweet crude for July delivery reached US$71.85/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
Precious metals retreated after making strong gains yesterday. Gold slid to US$1,238/oz, while silver inched lower to US$18.12/oz. Platinum went against the tide, rising to US$1,525/oz.
Base metals were in decline. Copper and nickel moved down to US$2.76/lb and US$8.21/lb, while zinc was flat at US$0.72/lb.
ABC consumer confidence survey is due out in the US today.