FTSE firmly higher midday with miners underpinning gains
13th July 2012
END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares were firmly higher at midday, with miners providing firm support as metals prices rose on hopes of China stimulus measures, and ahead of the US banks' reporting season.
At midday, the FTSE100 was up 42.47 points at 5,650.72 with the FTSE250 ahead 106.7 points at 11,030.7 and the FTSE Smallcaps 4.19 points higher at 2,970.03.
US stock futures were positive as investors considered China GDP more-or-less in line with their expectations, and ahead of Q2 earnings from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 45 points at 12,551, S&P500 futures rose 4 points at 1,333 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 9 points at 2,546.
Investors in London were buoyed by upbeat US jobs data. China GDP growth slowed 7.6%, much as expected, with the contraction giving strength to hopes of further stimulus measures. A two-tick credit downgrade for Italy from Moody's ensured the Eurozone gloom continued.
Meanwhile, the Government and BoE today launched the 'Funding for Lending' scheme which is intended to kick-start lending to businesses.
Mining stocks provided firm support for the main index, following metals prices higher on hopes of demand improving if China moves to stimulate its flagging growth.
Polymetal topped the leaderboard at midday, gaining 33.75p at 854.75p, while Kazakhmys added 19.25p at 720.75p and Rio Tinto rose 44.75p at 2,970.75p.
Anglo American eked out a more modest 11.25p gain at 2,021.25p, held back by a downgrade from buy to hold at Liberum Capital.
Oil producers advanced as crude prices crept up, with BP ahead 2.65p at 437.75p and Shell up 7.5p at 2,293p.
The retail sector was buoyant, with luxury brand Burberry rallying 38.5p at 1,196.5p and fashion house Next up 20p at 3,190p, while Marks & Spencer improved 4.2p at 316.4p.
In the financial world, asset manager Ashmore rallied 5.75p at 313.55p after yesterday's heavy losses.
Banks made modest progress, with Royal Bank of Scotland edging up 1.3p at 206.2p, Barclays ahead 1.45p at 164.95p and Lloyds 0.06p better at 30.23p.
Financial information company Experian was the worst blue chip performer, slipping 27.25p at 923.75p, when a bullish first quarter trading update was accompanied by the CEO warning of tougher conditions ahead, particularly in the Eurozone.
Security firm G4S continued to suffer from fall-out from bad press over its Olympic staffing problems, down a further 7.9p at 275.1p.
United Utilities fell 3.25p at 680.25p when Barclays Capital downgraded the water provider from equal-weight to underweight.
Meanwhile, Scottish & Southern Energy tumbled 15p at 1,405p when Citigroup downgraded the stock from neutral to sell.
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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