Having got myself into a frenzy over RBS’s results, which I thought were quite good, stripping out the one off £4 billion write-down for Citizens, until punters decided to take a decent profit, which had manifested itself since the beginning of the month (+11% until yesterday); this saw the shares down 5% at 3.45pm, having been up 2% at first knockings. The FTSE is virtually unchanged at 6935. Conditions are not conducive for trading and those companies that have under-performed in the last quarter have felt the wheels of pain across their back. Miners are virtually unchanged. Oils are mixed with BP nearly flat and Shell +1.5%. From the drug sector Astra is up 1% and GSK just 0.5% to the good with Shire unmoved since the open.
Reed has had a terrific run, but investors expected more from their results. They were underwhelmed and took some profit out of the ring! – -5.5%. Stephen Hester’s efforts at RSA have not really been appreciated in recent weeks – down 6%. Interserve – WOW! Down 8% with only 350k shares traded. It just goes to show how unforgiving investors can be in a quiet market place. Capita another company posting numbers were down 1.8%. Merlin Entertainment, despite an 11% increase in profits saw investors take a little risk off the table – -1.8%. Good old BATS – +1.5%! One cannot beat a good tobacco company! Spirent Communications came with late rattle on the rails this afternoon – +5.5%
The Street of Dreams offered no solace or encouragement – down 10 points at 3.45pm