The UK stock market paused for a breather today at 6,291.67, falling marginally by 0.04%, after hitting four-and-a-half year high, as investors waited cautiously for the US economic data and corporate earnings. This morning the UK stocks opened on a positive note with the forward-looking German GfK consumer confidence survey increased from 5.7 to 5.8 in February.
Investors focus on Ford, Amazon and Pfizer, which are scheduled to report quarterly earnings today. Stock futures on Wall Street are pointing to a slightly lower start after the opening bell in the coming hours. The US GDP figures will be revealed tomorrow, which will also keep investors on tenterhooks.
In the UK stock market today, mining group Anglo American stocks rose despite announcing a massive writedown of $4bn after completing a detailed cost and schedule review of its Minas-Rio iron ore project in Brazil. Espirito Santo downgraded RBS stocks from ‘neutral’ to ‘sell’, and sent stocks tumbling down. RBS was downgraded by Goldman Sachs too yesterday to ‘sell’ saying that RBS was ”most exposed to near-term regulatory risk”.
Real estate giant British Land was subdued after its third quarter results which reflected that the firm was doing well and said it saw ”encouraging” levels of demand in spite of tough market conditions. But consumer products giant PZ Cussons fell despite a rise in profits in line with market expectations.
The top ten gainers in the UK stock market today are Anglo American (lon:AAL) 1,918.50p +2.46%, Evraz (lon:EVR) 298.10p +1.50%, Johnson Matthey (lon:JMAT) 2,415.00p +1.39%, Old Mutual (lon:OML) 190.50p +1.11%, Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (lon:ENRC) 335.00p +0.90%, Rio Tinto (lon:RIO) 3,537.00p +0.88%, Imperial Tobacco Group (lon:IMT) 2,444.00p +0.87%, BP (lon:BP.) 472.45p +0.85%, Vodafone Group (lon:VOD) 172.45p +0.79%, and Petrofac Ltd. (lon:PFC) 1,722.00p +0.76%.
The top ten losers in the UK stock market today are Royal Bank of Scotland Group (lon:RBS) 349.20p -5.06%, BT Group (lon:BT.A) 244.60p -2.98%, Aggreko (lon:AGK) 1,700.00p -2.69%, Barclays (lon:BARC) 298.45p -2.42%, Lloyds Banking Group (lon:LLOY) 51.86p -2.41%, Aberdeen Asset Management (lon:ADN) 412.10p -2.35%, Hargreaves Lansdown (lon:HL.) 685.00p -2.28%, CRH (lon:CRH) 1,333.00p -1.48%, Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (lon:MRW) 253.80p -1.36%, and Bunzl (lon:BNZL) 1,097.00p -1.35%.