LONDON (SHARECAST) - - Eyes on ECB rate decision
techMARK 1,932.81 +0.42%
FTSE 100 5,313.92 +1.02%
FTSE 250 10,474.17 +1.23%
- Upside surprise in Australian GDP
- Miners, financials gain early on
After a four-day weekend for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the FTSE 100 jumped in early trading on Wednesday morning ahead of an interest rate decision in Europe. News that Australia's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected rate in the first quarter also helped lift sentiment.
While the European Central Bank (ECB) is generally expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at 1% in a statement expected after midday, some are predicting a 25-50 basis point cut as the sovereign debt crisis shows no sign of abating.
Australian gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 1.3% during the first three months of the year, well ahead of the 0.6% growth expected by analysts.
The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday slashed its interest rate to 3.5%, the lowest level since 2009. "With modest domestic growth and a weaker and more uncertain international environment, the outlook for inflation afforded scope for a more accommodative stance of monetary policy," said RBA Governor Glenn Stevens.
FTSE 100: Miners advance on Australian GDP
Commodities prices gained early on after the Australian GDP data and ahead of the ECB decision, meaning that mining stocks were among the best performers in London. Fresnillo, Randgold, Anglo American and Kazakhmys surged in the opening hour.
Financials were also in demand with Man Group, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC registering impressive performances. Barclays announced this morning that its subsidiary Absa Bank has agreed to buy the accounts and receivables relating to the private label store cards of Edcon Proprietary in South Africa for around £0.8bn.
Lloyds revealed that it is to sell a portfolio of Australian real estate loans for £388m. Meanwhile, HSBC said that the merger of its Omani operations with Oman International Bank has been approved and completed.
Telecoms giant Vodafone dropped after confirming that it is talking with Australian peer Telstra about buying its New Zealand subsidiary, TelstraClear. According to the Financial Times, the deal could be worth around A$300-400m, or £191-255m.
FTSE 250: Premier Oil, Essar rise after updates
Energy firm Premier Oil rose after seeing an encouraging drilling result on the Carnaby exploration well 28/09-5A in the Central North Sea Block 28/9.
India-focused integrated energy company Essar Energy was also higher after completing its optimisation project at its Vadinar refinery four months ahead of schedule.
Elsewhere, AIM-listed oil and gas peers Range Resources and Red Emperor Resources made decent gains early on after their jointly-owned Shabeel North well in Puntland, Somalia, has been spudded.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Man Group (EMG) 80.70p +6.89%
Barclays (BARC) 182.30p +5.07%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,825.00p +4.86%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 26.95p +4.78%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,435.00p +4.67%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 208.80p +4.45%
Anglo American (AAL) 2,034.00p +4.01%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 337.40p +3.12%
Schroders (SDR) 1,216.00p +3.05%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 909.50p +2.94%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 167.20p -3.71%
Carnival (CCL) 2,035.00p -1.31%
WPP (WPP) 735.00p -1.14%
Kingfisher (KGF) 269.10p -0.66%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 650.00p -0.54%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,751.00p -0.51%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,476.00p -0.40%
National Grid (NG.) 647.50p -0.38%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 674.00p -0.37%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 275.50p -0.29%
FTSE 250 - Risers
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 295.00p +9.67%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 420.00p +8.22%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 368.30p +5.41%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 135.70p +5.19%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 197.50p +5.17%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 121.90p +5.09%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 227.80p +3.78%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 41.80p +3.77%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 67.60p +3.76%
Premier Oil (PMO) 341.20p +3.71%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Logica (LOG) 107.70p -2.09%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 72.15p -1.84%
Bumi (BUMI) 324.00p -1.82%
Booker Group (BOK) 84.80p -1.40%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 770.50p -1.22%
Bodycote (BOY) 352.70p -1.12%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,760.00p -1.00%
Exillon Energy (EXI) 94.85p -0.99%
Debenhams (DEB) 75.40p -0.53%
Grainger (GRI) 84.55p -0.53%