Shares in UK life insurance and asset management group Resolution dropped sharply after the group cancelled the cash return of 250m pounds set for the first half of 2012 due to "uncertainty" in the markets.
The group said that the decision was based on its estimated capital position as at the end of June after working out the expected future capital requirements of Friends Life Group "against a backdrop of heightened investment, economic and regulatory uncertainty."
Shares of IAG have moved onto one of the lowest rungs on the top share index. Analysts at Credit Suisse said: "while we remain ouperform on the stock, the combination of a 2Q loss, an unchanged outlook and a rising jet fuel price (+5% on a 1W basis) is likely to constrain upward momentum in the short term. IAG has outperformed the FTSE All Share Index by 6% over the past month, however underperformed LHA by 16%. As such, we do not see market expectations as running high into 2Q reporting. We retain our confidence that 3Q should prove strong, as a combination of peak seasonality and tight capacity management on the transatlantic, European short haul and Europe-LatAm, should drive a return to yoy earnings growth." Curiously enough, or perhaps not, the Olympics are expected to weigh on business traffic. There also reports that the company has cancelled a debt issue.
Telecoms group Vodafone also declined after reported revenues fell by 7.7% (up 1% on an organic basis) in the first quarter with unfavourable foreign exchange movements in Europe providing a drag.
Meanwhile, United Utilities rose higher as investors abandoned riskier sectors such as miners and financials. Evraz, Kazakhyms, Barclays and RBS were all heavy fallers by late afternoon. This came amid concerns Spain may be forced into requiring a full bailout after the government gave the thumbs up for the €100bn aid package for Europe's fourth largest economy's banking sector, as passed by the EU a few weeks ago.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rexam (REX) 444.40p +1.11%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 496.70p +1.04%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 697.00p +0.94%
IMI (IMI) 814.50p +0.87%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,538.00p +0.85%
Meggitt (MGGT) 403.90p +0.50%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 696.50p +0.43%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,221.00p +0.36%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,211.00p +0.32%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 275.10p +0.29%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 211.90p -7.02%
Evraz (EVR) 239.60p -4.31%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 250.20p -3.36%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 154.90p -3.25%
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