FTSE posts modest gains in early deals, with Aviva top dog
25th May 2012
MORNING REPORT: Headline shares started the day with modest gains as the bulls emerged, although there was little or no corporate or economic news to provide support, with insurer Aviva the early leader.
In early trade, the FTSE100 was up 26.31 points at 5,376.36 with the FTSE250 ahead 31.9 points at 10,504.4 and the FTSE Smallcaps 9.59 points better at 2,925.36.
US & ASIA
In the US last night, the Dow rose 34 points at 12,530, the Nasdaq fell 11 points at 2,839 and the S&P500 added 2 points at 1,321.
In Asia today, the Nikkei closed up 17 points at 8,580, while the Hang Seng was recently ahead 50 points at 18,717.
The sunshine brought out the bulls today, although there was little or no corporate or economic news to go on.
Financial issues shrugged aside the ongoing debates over Greece and the Euro to post firm gains.
Insurance giant Aviva topped the early leaderboard, up 8.1p at 276.1p following reports it is to dispose of its South Korean and Sri Lankan businesses.
Banks made modest progress, with Barclays the best of them, up 3p at 188.3p. Royal Bank of Scotland gained 0.32p at 21.76p and Lloyds lifted 0.21p at 27.12p.
Hedge fund manager Man Group rallied 1.2p at 73.9p.
Signs of a revival in base metals prices drove mining group Anglo American 19.25p higher at 2,045.25p, while Rio Tinto gained 19.75p at 2,858.25p and Vedanta Resources rose 7p at 1,006.5p.
Conversely, Randgold Resources slid 22.5p at 5,147.5p as gold prices eased overnight.
Aggreko jumped 50p at 2,157p after HSBC upgraded the temporary power supplier from neutral to overweight and hiked its target price from 1,800p to 2,400p.
Commercial property firm Hammerson rose 1.75p at 424.15p on reports it is discussing the sale of a London tower block with Berkeley Group Holdings. Berkeley shares added 4.5p at 1,194.5p in response.
Holiday Inn operator InterContinental Hotels Group gained 8p at 1,414p after announcing that Chairman David Webster will retire on 31st December 2012 and be replaced by Patrick Cescau, former CEO of Unilever.
Chip designer ARM Holdings continued to make friends, up 9.55p at 504.75p, following a successful investor day this week.
Other notable gainers included steel maker Evraz, up 5.9p at 314.6p, water provider United Utilities, ahead 9.75p at 646.75p, and cruise ship operator Carnival, 33p higher at 2,093.5p.
Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata took the wooden spoon, slipping 11.65p at 923.35p, while suitor Glencore lost 2.8p at 343.2p.
Global brewer SABMiller fell 14.5p at 2,376.5p as investors re-visited yesterday's mixed results.
Retailers were represented on the fallers list by DIY specialist Kingfisher, down 1.1p at 279.1p, while supermarket operators Tesco and Morrisons eased 0.32p at 307.93p and 0.35p at 270.45p, respectively.
Story provided by StockMarketWire.com
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