Market report: Downbeat eurozone noises keep Footsie on the back foot

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If they were looking towards Greece, they will be disappointed, as yet another deadline for a deal on its debt came and went yesterday, meaning an agreement is needed before the next deadline on Friday or talks of a Grexit will be even more real.

There was also a shaky start after the latest Markit eurozone manufacturing data showed Germany hitting a  three-month low and France also performing poorly.

By comparison, it was better news in Spain and Italy which saw manufacturing output hit an eight-year and two-year high respectively, leaving investors not knowing what to make of it.

The FTSE 100 dipped just 9.34 points to 6975.09.

In companies news, Kurdish oil producer and former darling of the oil stock pickers Gulf Keystone Petroleum revealed after a year-long search it had finally found a new chief executive.

Former Maersk Oil executive Jón Ferrier takes over from caretaker boss John Gerstenlauer and is expected to start selling off Keystone’s assets or the company entirely.Despite shares already falling 37% in the last 12 months, investors remained spooked at the company’s future and shares dropped 1.55p to 35.95p — a 4% fall.

Three years ago shares hit 411p but there has since been a board overhaul with chief executive and founder Todd Kozel shown the door and former chairman Simon Murray leaving two months ago following a rights issue, after authorities in northern Iraq withheld payments to Keystone.

Standard Chartered saw its price drop 12p to 1034p after bosses at the London-listed bank with operations mainly in developing markets said it would be conducting its own investigation into whether it played a part in the Fifa bribery scandal.

The US-led investigation has already ensnared Barclays, up 0.15p at 270.15p and HSBC, down 1.3p at 621.4p, with accusations the banks helped with the payment of bribes.

 Interestingly, since the arrests by US agents of Fifa officials in Switzerland last week the banks’ share prices have barely moved. But perhaps shareholders are under no illusion that  future fines are almost inevitable  in the sector, with previous huge  fines paid by both banks to American authorities.

Real Good Food served up a bullish update after selling its wholesale sugar business for £34 million. Sales hit £104 million in the year to March with pretax profits of £5.3 million. Shares jumped 4p to 47.5p.

Source Article from–on-the-back-foot-10289125.html

June 2, 2015 |
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