May 17, 2013
After a subdued start, the FTSE 100 pushed into positive territory ahead of the opening bell in New York with financials leading the rise after a broker upgrade.
The Footsie breached the 6,700 mark yesterday for the first time since mid-2007 after 10 consecutive sessions in the blue, before falling back due to weak economic indicators from the States.
Those losses have now been reversed with London's benchmark index hitting an intraday high of 6,715 this morning. The Footsie has now jumped around 280 points (or 4.4%) since the start of May, extending its year-to-date rise to nearly 14%.
Markets are hoping for some more cheery data the States today after sentiment was dampened on Thursday by rising jobless claims, falling housing starts and a unexpected negative reading of Philadelphia manufacturing.
Futures in the US are pointing to a decent start on Wall Street ahead of the University of Michigan consumer confidence survey which is expected to rise from 76.4 to 77.9 in May. Meanwhile the Leading Indicators index (a composite index which combines 10 different surveys to forecast trends in the overall economy) is forecast to rise 0.2% in April, compared with the 0.1% decline in March.
"In light of reports this week that the Federal Reserve has mapped out a plan to exit quantitative easing, traders are on edge about the prospects of the US economic recovery," said Market Strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
"Markets, like the Fed, are unsure if the US economy can go at it alone without the support of the central bank in forthcoming months. For that reason, the market is sensitive to data and remarks by various Fed members," he said.
FTSE 100: Banks and miners rise
Risk appetite increased in late morning trade, providing a boost to stocks in the banking and mining sector.
Banks were given an extra lift after UBS upgraded its rating on the global financial sector from 'underweight' to 'overweight' on the back of a better outlook for the global economic and stronger capital levels. Part-nationalised peers Lloyds and RBS were among the best performers as speculation continues to ramp up over their potential reprivatisations next year.
In the mining sector, shares of ENRC, Polymetal, Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata were making gains. Tradenext this morning labelled Glencore Xstrata as a long-term 'buy' and a "core holding for anyone with an interest in the mining sector due to its size" following the completion of its merger last week.
Product testing group Intertek was a heavy faller this morning after its guidance on operating margins disappointed. The company said that margins in the first quarter were lower than last year due to a sharp profit decline in the minerals business.
Associated British Foods was continuing to fall after European sugar firm Suedzucker warned about lower profits, a market that the UK firm is heavily exposed to.
FTSE 250: Ocado rockets after Morrisons deal
A standout performer of the morning was Ocado after confirming that it is teaming up with Morrison to help the supermarket launch its first shopping website in January next year. Ocado, which will provide its technology, logistics and distribution knowledge, jumped as much as a third early on, while Morrison edged higher.
Sales growth at web and technology firm Premier Farnell came in well ahead of expectations in the first quarter, causing shares to rise this morning.
Transport company National Express cheered its investors with the news the Department for Transport has decided to extend the c2c rail franchise to September 2014.
John Menzies meanwhile was under the weather after reporting a mixed performance from its two main divisions in the first quarter. Aviation trading was ahead of last year, but the larger Distribution division was been hit by tough comparators and harsh conditions in the magazine market.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Polymetal International (POLY) 652.50p +3.00%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 345.10p +2.40%
CRH (CRH) 1,438.00p +2.28%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 62.28p +2.25%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 301.80p +2.20%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 291.50p +2.14%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 325.60p +2.13%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,581.50p +2.10%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 449.40p +1.97%
GKN (GKN) 302.10p +1.89%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,297.00p -4.49%
Amec (AMEC) 1,045.00p -2.52%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,885.00p -2.08%
Schroders (SDR) 2,498.00p -1.85%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,426.00p -1.78%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,189.00p -1.57%
Diageo (DGE) 2,019.00p -1.54%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 849.00p -1.45%
ITV (ITV) 129.20p -1.45%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,675.00p -1.43%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 260.00p +28.78%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 140.60p +5.24%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 111.60p +4.89%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 115.00p +4.36%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 213.30p +3.80%
Alent (ALNT) 337.30p +3.78%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 41.39p +3.48%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 341.00p +3.21%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,075.00p +3.16%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 30.00p +2.70%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 753.00p -4.86%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 157.70p -3.90%
Synthomer (SYNT) 200.00p -3.85%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 468.00p -2.01%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 985.00p -1.50%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 134.30p -1.47%
Chemring Group (CHG) 292.70p -1.38%
Rotork (ROR) 2,842.00p -1.29%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 39.13p -1.26%
Inchcape (INCH) 557.50p -1.24%