Market Report: Traders were not willing to place bets and the market flatlined

  • @LauraHChesters

The rights and wrongs of a rights issue for Standard Chartered were up for discussion in the City yesterday and some investors didn’t wait for the answer.

Last week The Independent revealed that the bank’s board is in disagreement about whether it needs a rights issue and yesterday analysts called time on the stock.

The bank lost 17p to 1,314p as Canaccord Genuity’s experts rated it a sell and admitted that unless its operating performance rebounds “the probability of an equity issue will grow”. Canaccord declared a rights issue could be problematic because the previous $5.2bn (£3.2bn) issue in 2010 was placed at 1,280p, with an ex-rights price of more than 1,800p – since then it has underperformed by over 25 per cent. Credit Suisse’s experts weren’t fans either and gave it a 1,250p target price.

Also in focus was bank HSBC which was said to be considering spinning off its UK arm and it edged back 1.6p to 657.7p.

The FTSE 100 ticked up just 7.49 points to 6551.99 as traders were not willing to place bets and the market flatlined.

Bottom of the blue chip index was African-focused explorer Tullow Oil after it disappointed with news of no oil at a “wild cat” well in Ethiopia and it declined 30p to 869.5p.

The FTSE is getting ready for its quarterly reshuffle tomorrow. Royal Mail should be taking a place in the blue chip index and added 2.5p to 597p while miner Vedanta Resources is expected to be demoted to the FTSE 250 and it lost 23p to 821.5p.

Mid-tier listed engineer Kentz is to buy Valerus Field Solutions in a $435m deal and it soared 75.5p to 657.5p – an all-time high.

Kazakhmys sold its remaining stake in Kazakhstan’s biggest power station for $1.3bn, as it announced costs at its copper mine had risen. It lost 8.2p to 209.55p.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum jetted 10.75p to 175p after Excalibur Ventures said it will not appeal September’s court ruling (over exploration rights in Kurdistan) and it agreed to pay £17.5m for legal costs.

Positive data for Scancell, the cancer specialist, helped it up 7.125p to 37.625p.