With Wall Street losing more than 300 points on a combination of factors, European markets are continuing to slide.
The FTSE 100 has fallen 61.09 points to 6669.02, with positive Chinese manufacturing figures failing to support the market. Hints of a sooner than expected US interest rate rise has unsettled investors ahead of the non-farm payroll figures later, while Russian sanctions, the situation in Gaza and of course Argentina's default are all adding to the downbeat mood.
But there are some notable risers. Smith & Nephew has added 15p to £10.41 after an underlying 6% rise in second quarter trading profit. The maker of artificial joints, which has long been considered a takeover target, said it was confident of the full year outlook. It has moved into higher margin areas such as sports medicine joint repair, although it warned its advanced wound management business would grow below the market rate for the full year. Investec analyst Nicholas Keher said:
Smith & Nephew has reported second quarter results in line and we think the shares will nudge up further today. Whilst the performance was slightly mixed, the underlying picture is certainly improving and we continue to see a long-term growth story evolving. That said, we sense the shares may struggle to break past £11 until further detail on [leg ulcer treatment] HP802 is delivered or should Smith & Nephew become a bid target, again. As such, whilst we remain fans, we think valuation discipline is required and advise buying on dips. We move to add (from buy).
Panmure Gordon'sSavvas Neophytou kept a hold rating:
The stock remains expensive, with significant bid speculation already priced in to the current share price. Some low hanging fruit can be had in terms of improved operating leverage but many of its markets have been ex-growth for a while, hence our reluctance to advocate opening up a new position at this level.
British Airways and Iberia owner International Consolidated Airlines is also flying high, up 6.1p to 336.9p after a positive update.