Banking of Scotland
Leading shares are heading for their biggest one day fall since the end of June, the aftermath of the Brexit vote, on a cocktail of concerns.
Associated British Foods is the biggest loser so far, down 6.5% to £29.50 after the Primark and sugar business issued . It said Primark’s full year like for like sales were expected to be down 2% after unseasonable weather and the recent falls in sterling. The company’s pension scheme also reported a £200m deficit after being in surplus last year.
Mining shares are also under pressure, on concerns about global growth and a stronger dollar on the prospect of a rise in US interest rates. Anglo American is down 48p at 798.6p, while BHP Billiton is 52p lower at 965.5p.
Banks are weaker with Royal Bank of Scotland down 8.2p at 198.5p and Barclays off 6.6p at 168.15p. RBS has been downgraded from hold to sell by Investec with analyst Ian Gordon saying:
After RBS’ participation in the recent sector rally, we downgrade to sell (from hold). Minor forecast changes take our target price to 200p (from 205p). Barclays (hold) is our preferred “recovery play” while Lloyds (buy) is our preferred FTSE100 bank. However, we continue to see far greater upside within the UK “challenger bank” sub-sector; we highlight OneSavings (buy), Shawbrook (buy) and Virgin Money (buy), while we think Aldermore (buy) is the most underappreciated, undervalued story of all. In this context, why own RBS?
RBS trades on 0.7 times 2017 estimated total net asset value despite the fact that we expect it to remain loss-making with no dividend through 2016 and 2017. We see its path to recovery as distant and uncertain. We also make minor downgrades to reflect AT1/equity issuance and a £400m foreign exchange loss on a Preference Share redemption.
Overall the FTSE 100 is down 114.35 points or 1.69% at 6662.60, with worries about the health of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton adding to investor concerns. This comes on top of fears that central banks may be running out of ammunition to boost the global economy following suggestions of a rate rise by the US Federal Reserve and last week’s lack of further stimulus by the European Central Bank. Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets, said:
A negative open comes as markets price in a higher probability that the US Fed will hike rates again next month. This comes after Boston Fed Governor Rosengren (FOMC voter) reiterated a hawkish message on Friday that served as the nail in the coffin for market concerns regarding global monetary policy divergence. This sealed a week-end sell-off for equities. Add to this questions being asked of the health of US Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and a new layer of political event risk sees markets on the back foot into the new week.
Lower down the market North Sea oil business Xcite Energy has slumped 66% to 2.87p. Responding to a recent rise in its shares, the operator of the Bentley field said discussions about restructuring $135m of secured bonds were continuing, but any deal was likely to lead to “a minimal residual equity stake [for] existing shareholders.”