UK Stocks Close Flat
Note: Apart from the UK, all European markets remain closed for Labour Day.
The FTSE 100 closed flat as strong energy and mining stocks offset weak banking and property stocks. New York traded higher supported by techs and as a rising US$ kept energy cost and inflation concerns at bay. The Fed cut rates by 25bp yesterday to bring US rates to 2%. At home, BA (+7.40%) took off after saying it was exploring opportunities for co-operation with American Airlines and Continental Airlines. Newly merged THOMSON REUTERS (+3.52%) posted a 37% rise in 1Q operating profit and updated its saving goal. REXAM (+4.47%) said 1Q results CER were in line, and outlook for 2008 remained unchanged. At the other extreme, SMITH & NEPHEW's (-13.44%) 1Q sales missed estimates. The largest medical devices maker in Europe launched an internal probe at its Plus Orthopaedics unit saying it could hit 2008 profits. Property stocks crumbled as Dresdner said that a 10%-20% fall in UK house prices was possible. Also, Deutsche Bank cut price targets on HAMMERSON (-1.44%), LAND SECS (-1.49%) and LIBERTY (-0.82%). Hammerson issued a fairly upbeat statement saying its portfolio continued to show a good operational performance. NATIONAL EXPRESS (+0.59%) reported a good start to the year and said trading was in line. CSR (-18.29%) plunged despite in-line 1Q revenue after saying trading conditions are challenging. GALIFORM (+8.42%) says it has continued to trade well in a less certain economic environment. /GP & ROA - S&P MarketScope, firstname.lastname@example.org