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China data fails to enthuse FTSE but Kentz jumps

China data fails to enthuse FTSE but Kentz jumps

European stock markets failed to rouse themselves towards a second consecutive day of gains, despite better than expected economic data from China.

Kentz (KENZ.L) broke out of the Monday morning slumber though, leaping over 9% to 635p after the engineering and construction group announced it was buying US company Valerus Field Solutions for $435 million in cash.

‘A larger-than-expected acquisition should strengthen Kentz process engineering offering and expand its footprint in the Americas’, commented Liberum analyst Andrew Whittock who rates Kentz a buy. ‘The price looks reasonable and our initial reaction is that the deal should be well received,’ he added.

The FTSE 250 on which Kentz resides rose 0.1%, but London’s flagship FTSE 100 – which has fallen for five weeks in a row – lagged behind, down 0.1% at 6,545.

Miners including Fresnillo (FRES.L), Antofagasta (ANTO.L) and Randgold (RRS.L) led the index lower, despite some forecasting-busting data reports from China.

China’s exports growth rebounded to a seven-month high of 12.7% year on year in November, up from 5.6% in October. Imports though grew by just 5.4%, a five month low.

Consumer price inflation meanwhile slowed more than expected from 3.2% in October to 3% in November.

‘As the growth momentum seems to have held up well, the monetary policy should stick to the neutral stance,’ commented Wei Yao, an economist at Societe Generale.

HSBC UK spin-off

HSBC (HSBA.L) shares were little moved, up 0.1% to 660p, after newspaper reports that the bank had sounded out investors about a flotation of its UK arm.

Espirito Santo analyst Shailesh Raikundlia pencilled in an extra 60p on top of his 850p target price for HSBC should the reports prove correct. ‘Such a move would crystallise a higher rating for the whole group, especially in the light of buoyant investor sentiment on the UK economy,’ commented the analyst.

Tullow Oil (TLW.L) dropped 2.6% to 876p after telling shareholders that it had failed to find oil in a well in Ethiopia

Aviva (AV.L) was among top blue chip risers, up 2.1% to 428p, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch added the insurance company to its list of top picks.

 

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Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Profile: The opportunity set that attracted Brett Williams to wealth management

Brett Williams is best known for helping to build some of the biggest platforms in the IFA market.He made the move over to wealth management to head SEI’s UK business earlier this year in the belief that this is where the best opportunities now lie.

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