CITY WATCH

Brokers have downgraded their expectations for engineering exporters to take account of the strong pound, but share prices of heavily-exposed companies continue to drift. Two sizeable business with Continental Europe, Laird and Glynwed, dropped to new lows this week. Laird’s motor body seals business with Germany represents around 50% of sales. Building products exports and […]

Brokers have downgraded their expectations for engineering exporters to take account of the strong pound, but share prices of heavily-exposed companies continue to drift. Two sizeable business with Continental Europe, Laird and Glynwed, dropped to new lows this week.

Laird’s motor body seals business with Germany represents around 50% of sales. Building products exports and its plastics business in the US account for further large slabs of group turnover.

After its acquisition of Victaulic, Glynwed’s pipes division does 70% of its sales outside the UK.

British Steel was further shadowed by news of a loss at the nine-month stage of its Swedish Avesta arm, and traded close to its year’s low 139p. Rolls-Royce took a further tumble down to 220p, a price some watchers see as a buying opportunity. GKN lost further ground as the market awaited the US court ruling on a £457m damages claim against the company and its US franchiser, Meineke Discount Mufflers.

Engineering and transport group Wellman edged up a penny or so after hitting a new low of 25.5p. The shares have been weak since the autumn profit warning. Broker Albert E Sharp looks for profits for the year ending next month, virtually halved to £5.8m.

Pace Micro Technology still laboured under the recent profit warning and with the long-awaited announcement about digital decoder orders from BSkyB still not forthcoming, the shares traded close to their recent low. House broker Panmure bravely tips them a buy, however.