Market Report: Fourth fall as emerging markets fears continued to concern traders
The Footsie spent its fourth day in the red but possible takeover activity in the consumer goods sector was a shot in the arm Reckitt Benckiser yesterday.
Rumours that the US pharmaceutical group Merck could sell its consumer care business to Reckitt pushed the latter up nearly 3 per cent. Merck, whose consumer care division owns products including allergy brand Claritin, could be worth as much as $10bn (£6.1bn). Analysts at Citigroup said: “Reckitt has a good track record on M&A in terms of sales and synergies and we believe a deal would be strategically sound, but not at any price.” Reckitt jumped 102p to 4,665p – one of the top risers on the blue chip leaderboard.
The FTSE 100 lost another 44.78 points to 6,465.66, its fourth fall in as many days, as emerging markets fears continued to concern traders. It has lost more than 3.5 per cent since the start of the year.
Lloyds Banking Group fell 3.31p to 79.99p after revealing it has had to set aside another £1.8bn for PPI mis-selling.
Gold miner Randgold Resources issued a better-than-expected fourth-quarter update despite lower profit than the previous year. It maintained its dividend and lifted 262p to 4,455p.
Analysts at Jefferies noted that engineer Weir is a potential takeover target but warned that 2014 will be “another challenging year” so rated it hold. It climbed 29p to 2,123p.
HSBC said “investors may ask whether they should... buy on the third profit warning” at educational publisher Pearson. But the stock is still not cheap enough, HSBC argued, pointing out it is one of the most heavily shorted in the sector, according to research group Markit. Pearson was 5p weaker at 1,107p.
Premier Foods fell 5.25p to 138p after speculation that it would announce a rights issue in the next month.
Bruno Guillon, the chief executive of AIM-listed Mulberry, still has the support of its majority owners – billionaire Ong Beng Seng and wife Christina – despite its third profit warning last week. The Ongs bought another 140,000 shares, priced at 660p, last week after the shares fell more than 25 per cent. Yesterday the leather brand slipped 19p to 650.5p.
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic expert says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he shot Reeva Steenkamp through locked door
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
- 2 Boy George: Bad karma
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
iJobs Money & Business
£57000 - £77000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Top 10 Specialist...
£350 - £450 per day: Harrington Starr: Harrington Starr are currently working ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - FIX protoco...
£45000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - OMS/EMS, FI...