LONDON (SHARECAST) - - Spanish aid hopes drive stocks late on
techMARK 2,119.80 -0.21%
FTSE 100 5,834.51 +0.03%
FTSE 250 11,502.29 +0.04%
- Global economic data comes in mixed
- Miners, banks rise in afternoon trade
The Footsie rallied in afternoon trade, tracking European markets higher on the back of increased speculation that Spain could be close to requesting some sort of aid to help its ailing banks.
“It is believed though that there has been no formal request for the aid, however more details are likely to emerge over the coming days. For now though, there has been a very positive reaction in the markets,” said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari.
Nevertheless, UK equity markets were seeking direction for most of today’s session as investors digested a barrage of uneven economic data from across the globe. In domestic news, retail sales volumes rose 0.3% during July, compared with analysts’ forecasts of a 0.1% decline.
“Markets continue to tread water in the vacuum of no new developments in the Eurozone debt crisis, while the ability of the US to post continued mixed economic data reports just about keeps the wheels on the QE train.”
US housing starts fell in July but building permits reached their highest level since August 2008. Initial jobless claims inched higher but the four-week moving average dropped close to “post-crisis lows”, according to Barclays. Meanwhile, the Philly Fed manufacturing index improved in August but still remains in negative territory.
Asian stocks finished higher on Thursday after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that he sees "growing room for monetary policy operation" as inflation slows down. The news of slowing inward investment in China in July added to concerns about the world’s second-largest economy. Foreign direct investment in China fell 8.7% to a two-year low of $7.58bn last month.
FTSE 100: Miners and banks provide a lift
The mining sector was broadly higher on Thursday on hopes that potential stimulus measures in China would boost the demand for commodities. Kazakhmys, Evraz, Vedanta Resources and Anglo American were making decent gains. One producer to buck the trend however was ENRC which extended losses after its poorly-received interim results yesterday; Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale and UBS all trimmed their target prices on the stock today.
Banking peers Lloyds and RBS were among the best performers of the day, despite news that they, along with a number of other financial companies, have been called in for questioning in the US over the alleged rigging of inter-bank lending rates.
Publishing group Reed Elsevier was rising after it announced the appointment of Duncan Palmer as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), having lured him away from US company Owens Corning. Palmer will take over from Mark Armour, who is retiring at the end of the year.
FTSE 250: Lonmin and African Barrick head opposite directions
Lonmin’s shares plunged into the bottom spot after admitting it will miss its full-year targets following a “serious outbreak of violence” at its West Marikana mine operations in South Africa. The firm also said its Chief Executive Officer was suffering from a serious illness and is currently in hospital.
Meanwhile, African Barrick Gold (ABG) surged after announcing that its holding company, Barrick Gold, is in talks with China National Gold Group about the possibility of selling its stake in the miner to China's largest gold producer. Should China Gold buy up more than 30% of the voting interest in ABG from Barrick Gold, it would then be required to make an offer for the whole of ABG's issued ordinary share capital.
Mining peer Talvivaara slipped after lowered its production target for the year and posting an operating loss for the first half.
FTSE 100 - Risers
IMI (IMI) 918.50p +3.84%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 32.98p +3.22%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 735.00p +2.80%
Evraz (EVR) 269.60p +2.74%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 227.30p +2.57%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 937.50p +1.96%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,974.50p +1.80%
Wolseley (WOS) 2,520.00p +1.78%
Tesco (TSCO) 338.30p +1.71%
Barclays (BARC) 186.20p +1.69%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Pennon Group (PNN) 749.50p -1.90%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 372.40p -1.90%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 185.55p -1.70%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,162.00p -1.69%
Carnival (CCL) 2,156.00p -1.60%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 575.50p -1.46%
Experian (EXPN) 989.50p -1.25%
Prudential (PRU) 813.00p -1.22%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,097.00p -1.17%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,345.00p -1.04%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 425.00p +7.98%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 459.30p +6.12%
Avocet Mining (AVM) 92.75p +4.98%
Spectris (SXS) 1,730.00p +4.34%
Yule Catto & Co (YULC) 153.90p +4.13%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 93.00p +4.09%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 153.00p +4.08%
Rank Group (RNK) 125.70p +3.88%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 172.80p +3.54%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 98.25p +3.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Lonmin (LMI) 648.00p -6.76%
IP Group (IPO) 130.00p -4.83%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 38.96p -2.58%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 137.00p -2.35%
Devro (DVO) 304.00p -2.31%
Bumi (BUMI) 353.00p -2.19%
Redrow (RDW) 135.30p -2.17%
Ted Baker (TED) 970.00p -2.02%
Balfour Beatty (BBY) 290.20p -1.99%
Rotork (ROR) 2,251.00p -1.87%