Market Report: Technip's success hits Wellstream's shares

Shares attempted a comeback as nerves about the southern Europe's debt woes eased last night, but Wellstream was held back after losing out on a major contract in Brazil.

The oilfield services group, which specialises in flexible pipes and is listed on the FTSE 250, fell to a session low of 588p, down almost 10 per cent, before closing more than 7 per cent or 50.5p lower at 602p. Traders sold out on news that Wellstream's French rival, Technip, had beaten it to a contract to supply flexible pipes to the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.

The deal, which will see Technip supply the Tupi field pilot project off the Brazilian coast, prompted a wave of profit-taking around Wellstream. Analysts at Oriel said the shares "had been anticipating good news – or a bid – and are too far ahead of events".

Evolution also weighed in, hinting that the lack of major contract awards so far this year could put forecasts at risk. Citing the raft of deal rumours that have driven up the share price in recent months, the broker lowered Wellstream's stock from "buy" to "add".

Overall, the benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 31.23 points to 5,617.84, while the FTSE 250 added 93.92 points to close at 10,392.96 as European and International Monetary Fund officials stepped up moves to devise a bailout plan that would save Greece from having to restructure its debt.

Overnight news from the US, where central bankers at the Federal Reserve pledged to hold back from raising interest rates, also drove sentiment as fears of an early move towards monetary tightening subsided.

Metals prices firmed up as Wednesday's worries took a back seat, with mining plays rising in tandem. Additional support was forthcoming from the copper miner Kazakhmys, which rose by 53p to 1,432p after posting a positive production update. Other notable risers in the heavily weighted sector included Lonmin, which closed up 40p at 1,943p, and Anglo American, which was 72.5p stronger at 2,880p at the close of play.

In a sign of the caution lurking just beneath the surface, gold prices continued to gain ground as investors kept piling into the safe-haven metal. The strength boosted Randgold Resources, which rose by 90p to 5,420p last night.

Elsewhere, the commercial property group Land Securities gained 13.5p to 656p after Panmure Gordon turned positive, labelling the stock an "attractive play" thanks to the recovery in the central London office market.

"There is growing tenant demand for new space [in the central London office market and in parts of the West End], coupled with a scarcity of new schemes scheduled for delivery in the next two years and this should translate into continued rental growth," the broker said. It expects Land Securities, a major landlord in the capital, to benefit from this trend.

Hammerson also did well, adding 7.9p to reach 386.2p after reporting improvements in its retail assets. Panmure Gordon, although pleased with the update, kept the stock at "hold", noting Hammerson's exposure to the French market, which has lagged behind the UK, and its lack of gearing to the central London office market. In the wider sector, British Land was 4p ahead at 469.4p, and Liberty International rose 6.8p to 493p.

Further afield, news that the annual percentage increase in house prices had hit double digits drove sentiment throughout the housing sector. Taylor Wimpey stood firm at 41.76p, a rise of 0.34p, and Barratt Developments was up 0.5p at 127.1p. The property website Rightmove led the way, swelling by 31p to 700p, partly because of the strength in house prices, and partly thanks to Panmure, which raised its target price for the stock from 650p to 800p.

Besides highlighting the improvement in market conditions, the broker played down the prospect of competition. "Site traffic remains very strong and there is no evidence of any diminution of market share," it said, repeating its "buy" view ahead of Rightmove's update next week.

"In our view, it is unwise at this level to factor in either the Digital Property Group or Google as any sort of meaningful industry threat."

Also on the upside, HSBC came out in support of Drax, the owner and operator of the Drax coal-fired power station near Selby, North Yorkshire. Its shares rose by 9p to 363.5p after the broker told clients to "buy", saying the market was only pricing in the negatives.

"The market's appraisal of Drax has tended to fluctuate unduly, usually based on short-term commodity price volatility. At times it has placed the value of Drax above that of a new-build but at other times it has valued the stock below the price at which its assets could be sold," the broker said, setting a 425p target price. "We believe the latter situation currently applies."

On the downside, Carpetright, which fell after disappointing the market with its year-end pre-close update on Wednesday, remained under pressure. It eased back by 1.5p to 858.5p after UBS scaled back its target for the stock to 750p, and Investec switched its stance to "sell".

"Short term trading risks prevail, as performance is typically subdued for three months after a general election," the analysts at Investec said, lowering their target price to 675p.

FTSE 100 Risers

Up: Intercontinental Hotels 1,136p (up 65p, 6.1 per cent) Rises after Lazard Capital initiates coverage with a "buy" stance.

Up: British Sky Broadcasting 625p (up 29p, 4.9 per cent) Third-quarter results evidence continued strength in HD demand.

Up: Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation 1,256p (up 55p, 4.6 per cent) Miners gain ground as commodity prices firm up.

FTSE 250 Risers

Up: Galiform 81.55p (up 4.05p, 5.2 per cent) Interim management statement pleases; Investec sticks to its top of the range pre-tax profit forecast.

Up: Yell 55.65p (up 1.65p, 3.1 per cent) Maintains place on the "most preferred" list of European media stocks at UBS.

Up: Croda International 990p (up 15p, 1.5 per cent) Target price raised to 1,170p at JP Morgan Cazenove, and to 1,100p at UBS.

FTSE 100 Fallers

Down: BP 584.2p (down 40.8p, 6.5 per cent) Slumps on news that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is worse than initially thought.

Down: Whitbread 1,545p (down 38p, 2.4 per cent) Eases as traders bank profits on the back of well-received full-year figures.

Down: British American Tobacco 2,085p (down 22.5p, 1.1 per cent) Downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at S&P Equity Research.

FTSE 250 Fallers

Down: Gartmore 157.3p (down 6.7p, 4.1 per cent) Falls back as traders move to bank profits from Wednesday's strong gains.

Down: BBA Aviation 207p (down 4.7p, 2.2 per cent) Posts an interim management statement; cut to "hold" from "buy" at Panmure Gordon.

Down: Go-Ahead 1,446p (down 27p, 1.8 per cent) Posts an interim management statement; maintains full-year guidance.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
LifeReddit asked a simple question with infinite answers this week
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business


£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

(Junior) IT Systems Administrator / Infrastructure Analyst

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly ...

Finance Officer

Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education are seeking a Fi...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice