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UK Markets Quiet Ahead of Thanksgiving

WEDNESDAY MARKET UPDATE: Investors have generally held off on making any big bets in the markets ahead of Thanksgiving

Alanna Petroff 21 November, 2012 | 5:58PM Rouhan Sharma

Shares in BG Group (BG.) pushed higher while Johnson Matthey's (JMAT) market value took a 6% dive on Wednesday, but when you take those two companies out of the equation, the FTSE 100 benchmark index was relatively quiet on Wednesday 

The FTSE 100 index edged up by 4 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,752. The FTSE 250 index declined by 38 points, or 0.3%, to close at 11,783.

"With continued uncertainty over Greece, Ben Bernanke’s comments about the fiscal cliff and Thanksgiving tomorrow, it is no wonder markets have barely changed from yesterday's close, said David Madden, a market analyst, IG. 

"As it's the last US trading day before Thanksgiving and our friends in the US have an appetite for turkey and yams over stocks and futures, trading volumes are expected to be light until next week," said Madden.

Greece: Wait-and-See Mode

Investors are also still in wait-and-see mode with Greece after eurozone finance ministers failed to come up with a solution to release the next tranche of bailout funds for Greece, and instead agreed to resume talks on Monday.

"After 12 hours of discussions, eurozone ministers, the IMF and ECB failed to reach a deal to reduce Greece’s debt and release the next tranche of payment from its bailout package," said Fiona Cincotta, a market analyst at City Index "It had been widely expected that a consensus would be reached but instead the decision has been postponed ... Until we receive more clarity on the situation in Greece and especially with the Thanksgiving weekend starting tomorrow, trading is expected to be quiet."

Johnson Matthey & BG Group

In equities, Johnson Matthey shares put a weight on the FTSE 100 index after reporting first-half results and a full-year outlook that disappointed investors.

Meanwhile, BG Group was the top gainer amongst FTSE 100 companies as rumours swirled that it could be a potential takeover target. BG's shares have fallen by more than 20% in less than a month  after the oil and gas group announced that it expected lower production growth for this year and next year.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
BG Group PLC1,166.50 GBX-0.34
Johnson Matthey PLC3,104.00 GBX-0.89
About Author Alanna Petroff

Alanna Petroff  is a financial journalist with Morningstar UK.