Equity markets opened lower this morning as banking and mining stocks lost some ground following the strong rebound seen yesterday. The FTSE 100 was initially off around 50 points although ventured into positive territory late morning before falling more substantially throughout the afternoon.
On a stock specific level, BG Group ended the day at the top of the FTSE 100 following an upgrade from neutral to buy at Goldman Sachs, the bank citing an improved business outlook and sector leading growth as key factors in their 1760p price target. The integrated oil & gas company also benefited from its addition to Goldman’s conviction buy list, the shares added 41.5p to finish 3.4% higher at 1263p.
Smiths Group’s 2.2% gain to 970p saw it positioned in second place behind BG, the diversified technology provider benefiting from a good reception to its full year results. The company delivered earnings per share slightly ahead of expectations and whilst the outlook was cautious, it was no worse than many analysts had expected.
At the other end of the spectrum and aside from the miners, Man Group suffered a 24.9% collapse in its share price following a trading update to September. The world’s largest listed hedge fund manager has struggled with client outflows and poor performance from some of its funds this summer amid volatile financial markets. Assets under management (a key determinant of revenue) are anticipated to fall $6 billion to $65billion by the end of this month. Cairn Energy also lost 6.5% following an operational update in which investors learnt another well was being plugged and abandoned in its Greenland drilling campaign.
The market closed down 76 points (1.4%) at 5218, sentiment weighed down by continuing concerns over the legal and political details of the ESFS’s approval and expansion, and below expected monthly durable goods orders from the US.