Following a subdued reaction to central bank policy decisions yesterday, European markets were lower in early trading on Friday as investors looked ahead to key employment data in the US due out later today.
Stocks on Thursday seemed to shrug off the news that the Bank of England (BoE) ramped up its asset purchase programme and the European Central Bank (ECB) and the People's Bank of China (PBoC) both slashed their benchmark interest rates.
Critics to the BoE move said that the £50bn increase in quantitative easing will only have a marginal effect on the real economy. ECB governing council member Erkki Liikanen said that the European rate cut should not be expected to save the day. Meanwhile, some say that the Chinese decision reflects policymakers' concerns about a 'hard-landing'.
"Risky assets failed to rally yesterday despite policy easing measures in China, the euro area and the UK. With the data calendar otherwise light today, the market's full attention therefore turns to the US employment report," said Barclays Capital analyst Khrishnamoorthy Sooben.
The monthly jobs data from the Labor Department is expected to see over 100,000 non-farm payrolls added in June. The jobless rate is expected to remain at 8.2%.
Aviva ups size of Delta Lloyd disposal
Having promised on Thursday that it would raise money from disposals, insurance giant Aviva moved quickly to act on that pledge by saying it will sell more of its stake in Delta Lloyd than originally intended, prompting a sharp rise in its share price early on.
Food, ingredients and retail firm Associated British Foods rose after saying that it is to buy ethnic flour brand Elephant Atta from Premier Foods for £34m.
Plumbing and heating group Wolseley was being pressured lower after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the stock to 'equal weight'. Meanwhile, Barclays was lower after after Bernstein cut its rating to 'market perform'.
Cooker maker AGA Rangemaster fell after saying that a strong performance in May was followed by a quiet June, as it continues to experience tough trading conditions, particularly in Ireland.
Semi-conductor wafer products provider IQE jump after receiving its first major orders for concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) wafers from Solar Junction, a leading edge CPV cell developer and manufacturer.
Shares in AIM-listed PSG Solutions rocketed after the group saw sales jump from £10.7m to £37.3m in the year to the end of March.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Aviva (AV.) 293.00p +2.95%
G4S (GFS) 290.80p +1.50%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,562.00p +1.36%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,567.00p +1.10%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 157.20p +0.96%
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will say the economy is growing at twice the rate it forecast in March, the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times reported. The OBR will say 2013 growth has jumped to 1.4% from the 0.6% it predicted eight months ago. Next year the economy will grow by about 2.3%, the OBR is set to say. In his December 5th autumn statement Chancellor George Osborne will announce tax breaks for small firms and a clampdown on tax avoidance. While declaring [1 Dec '13]
Premier Foods confirmed that Chief Financial Officer Mark Moran has decided to leave the company and will be replaced at the end of September by former Dairy Crest Finance Director Alastair Murray. [24 Sep '13]
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