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Britain's FTSE supported by technical buying; HSBC results due
August 4, 2014 / 8:10 AM / 3 years ago

Britain's FTSE supported by technical buying; HSBC results due

* FTSE 100 edges up 0.2 percent

* Technical buying buoys index after sharp drop

* Intertek up after dividend hike

* HSBC results due out at 0815 GMT

By Francesco Canepa

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s top share index halted a three-day losing streak on Monday, helped by technical buying after it climbed above a major support level at the end of last week and closed off its lows, suggesting the slide was set to pause.

Attention was on HSBC, expected to report falling revenues in a pared-down business and lower income from Latin America and investment banking when it reports its first-half results at 0815 GMT. Its shares eased 0.2 percent.

Shares in Intertek rose 0.5 percent as the company raised its interim dividend by 6.7 percent to 16 pence per share and said it was on track to deliver single digit organic revenue growth.

Despite a second-quarter reporting season that has seen 53 percent of the 108 companies in the STOXX Europe 600 reporting estimate-beating earnings, according to StarMine data, shares across the region fell sharply last week.

Investor appetite has been sapped by the prospect of a tightening in U.S. monetary policy following strong data, as well as by geopolitical concerns ranging from tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine to Israel’s shelling of Gaza.

By 0800 GMT, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 7 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,686 points, steadying after a 1.7 percent drop last week. The index climbed above its 52-week moving average of 6,670 points on Friday.

Charles Stanley’s technical analyst Bill McNamara, however, expects the downtrend to resume soon.

“The index does look set to rebound somewhat today but I‘m becoming concerned about its loss of momentum over recent sessions,” McNamara said.

“I remain very cautious on the UK market at the moment and my own sense is that we are going to see further weakness before we see it back up towards the high.”

Among mid-caps, engineer Balfour Beatty rose 2 percent as the Sunday Telegraph reported UK engineering firm WS Atkins and Canada’s WSP Global are vying for control of its engineering and design business. (Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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