Bloomberg News

U.K. Stocks Are Little Changed; Rio Tinto, Misys Shares Decline in London

March 12, 2012

U.K. stocks were little changed after the largest three-day rally in more than a month as China’s exports trailed forecasts and euro-area finance ministers met to approve a second bailout for Greece.

Rio Tinto Group led mining shares lower. Misys Plc (MSY) retreated 3.8 percent as Temenos Group AG said that talks with U.K. software maker ended after no agreement was reached on the terms of a possible merger. Carnival Corp. (CCL) advanced 1.5 percent as analysts upgraded their recommendations on the world’s largest cruise-ship operator.

The FTSE 100 added 5.26, or 0.1 percent, to 5,892.75 at the close of trading in London. The volume of shares changing hands was 17 percent less than the average over the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The broader FTSE All- Share Index also gained 0.1 percent today and Ireland’s ISEQ Index lost 0.5 percent.

“Sentiment has soured over the weekend,” said Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at Capital Spreads in London. “The turmoil in the West is dampening demand for Chinese goods.”

China had its biggest trade deficit last month since at least 1989, adding to reports last week on factory output and retail sales that signaled slowing growth for the world’s second-biggest economy. Exports (CNFREXPY) increased 18.4 percent, the customs bureau said, trailing the average forecast of 31 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

ECB Support

The FTSE 100 (UKX) has still rallied 5.8 percent this year as the European Central Bank lent regional financial institutions more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) for three years and U.S. economic reports topped estimates.

Euro-area finance ministers seeking to step past the largest sovereign-debt restructuring in history are attempting to gain a foothold this week as they grapple with implementing the latest Greek bailout.

Ministers from the 17 nations that share the euro gathered in Brussels today to sign off on the 130 billion-euro second package for Greece after bondholders agreed last week to take a loss on the country’s debt. They’ll also focus on Spain’s budget-cutting efforts and Portugal’s aid program, underscoring their desire to prevent contagion.

“Markets now await the result of today’s Eurogroup meeting, which is expected to finalise approval for the next tranche of aid for Athens,” Chris Beauchamp, a market analyst at IG Index in London, wrote in e-mailed comments.

Rio Tinto Slips

Rio Tinto, the world’s third-biggest mining company, lost 1.7 percent to 3,450.5 pence, snapping three days of gains. Vedanta Resources Plc (VED) declined 3.7 percent to 1,369 pence.

Misys sank 3.8 percent to 328 pence, the largest decline in a month. The end of takeover talks with Temenos leaves interest from ValueAct Capital, Misys’s largest shareholder, buyout firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Vista Equity Partners. Misys said today it will continue discussions with the private equity companies.

Carnival (CCL) gained 1.5 percent to 1,947 pence as Exane BNP Paribas SA and Numis Securities Ltd. advised buying the shares.

Centamin Plc advanced 4.4 percent to 85 pence as it resumed normal operations at its Sukari gold mine in Egypt after labor unrest earlier this month.

Computacenter Plc (CCC) surged 11 percent to 410 pence, the biggest gain since May 2009. The supplier of computer services to companies is due to release full-year earnings tomorrow.

Game Group Plc (GMG) tumbled 64 percent to 1.28 pence, the lowest level on record. The U.K.’s biggest independent video-games retailer said it’s having trouble securing games from suppliers for a second time this year as funding talks continue. The shares have plunged 83 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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