* FTSE 100 down 0.3 percent
* Aggreko slumps on 2013 outlook uncertainty
* Vodafone slips on worries over 4G network costs
* Kazakhmys gains as Kazakhstan output rises
By David Brett
LONDON, Dec 17 Britain's top share index fell
early on Monday, led lower by temporary power provider Aggreko,
which warned on its 2013 outlook, and heavyweight Vodafone, hit
by concerns about the cost of new generation wireless networks.
By 0845 GMT, the FTSE 100 was down 14.72 points or
0.3 percent at 5,907.04.
Aggreko slumped 17.4 percent after the firm said it
would be difficult to provide a definitive view on next year's
"Guidance for 2013 confirms that the weakening trend
identified in Q3 has continued, with performance for the coming
year now expected to be below 2012. This would imply at least 10
percent downside risk to our forecasts, hence we place our fair
value and rating under review," Espirito Santo said in a note.
Aggreko had been highly valued by investors, trading on a
smartestimate price-to-earnings ratio of 19.2 times, according
to Thomson Reuters Starmine. That compares with ratios for its
peers of around 14 times, leaving little room for
But the warning signs had been there, with valuation
momentum for the company grinding to a halt and leaving Aggreko
among the lowest-ranked FTSE 100 companies in Starmine's
valuation and momentum model.
Vodafone, down 1.8 percent, also added its hefty
weight to the downside on worries over the cost of the next
generation of mobile networks after the Dutch state raised much
more than expected in its auction of fourth generation (4G)
wireless frequencies. Prices were so that high market leader KPN
said it would have to cut dividends to afford its
The falls offset gains among miners, which have
found support of late after improving economic data from China,
following a year of underperformance which has seen the sector
fall 1.6 percent compared with the FTSE 100's 6.3 percent rise.
Kazakhmys and ENRC rose 1.7 percent and 0.9
percent, respectively, the top gainers early on Monday, after
Kazakhstan revealed refined copper and gold output rose in
January-November 2012. The two London-listed miners account for
a large part of the country's metal production.
Egypt-focused Centamin recouped some of its recent
steep losses, rallying 24.9 percent after it said it expected
operations at its mine to restart in the coming days after
customs officials allowed it to export gold.
The broader FTSE 100 remains rangebound in recent days, with
the index up just 0.1 percent over the last week, as macro
uncertainties keep investors from making large bets on the
market in the run up to the end of the year.
The FTSE hit its highest since early March but the lack of
momentum on the breakout indicated that it was either weak
buyers entering or weak shorts covering small positions. Volume
was relatively low, which could reflect a lack of conviction
among bullish traders, according to a technical analyst.
The main worry remains the U.S. "fiscal cliff" of steep tax
hikes and spending cuts, although there were some signs of
progress in talks between the two parties in the United States.
"The slow progress of discussions in Washington will
continue to distract investors; a deal to avert the fiscal cliff
will need to be done soon if the recent momentum in risk assets
is to be maintained all the way into the year end," said Ian
Williams, strategist at Peel Hunt.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)