Aggreko surge counteracts miners' falls on Britain's FTSE

Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:05am EST

* FTSE 100 steady early on

* Aggreko powers ahead on relief after update

* Miners hit by weak PMIs

* Charts suggest pullback since October could be ending

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE was steady in early trade on Monday, with falls in miners following disappointing data from China partly offset by a well-received update from temporary energy provider Aggreko.

The temporary power provider gave support to the market, surging 6.3 percent after it said full-year results were likely to be slightly ahead of expectations, driven by increased underlying revenue across its global power business.

Steep falls in the sessions prior to the trading update meant the slightly better guidance prompted a sharp relief rally, traders said. The stock had fallen 6.5 percent last week.

"We've seen buying for them this morning ... the key thing to look at this morning is the share price move, and we're still trading 20p lower than where we were a week ago," said Nick Dale-Lace, sales trader at CMC Markets.

"Although the figures may not be quite as positive as a 6 percent plus move would normally suggest, we're more regaining that lost ground."

Material related stocks took 3 points off the FTSE 100 after growth in activity in China's vast factory sector slowed to a three-month low in December, missing expectations.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.32 points, flat in percentage terms, at 6,439.64 at 0833 GMT.

The index fell for the sixth straight week last week, the longest such losing streak since 2008. During the week's drop, it fell decisively below its 200 day moving average.

The move has taken the index down 5.6 percent since the end of October.

"The correction from the end of October is still in full force. There is potential support around the trend line formed from March 2009 lows, kicking in around 6,390," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"The drop from the end of October is a meaty old correction, and if the slowing in from the Federal Reserve stimulus is delayed again, then we could see a recovery into the end of the month."

The U.S. Federal Reserve may decide to slow its equity-friendly stimulus programme following a two-day meeting starting on Tuesday, with stronger domestic data suggesting that the central bank may "taper" sooner rather than later.

Van Dulken said expectations of an early taper, which had been building after a bi-partisan budget deal in the States, were now falling as divisions appeared in the Republican party over the deal.

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