LONDON (SHARECAST) - - US growth data boosts stock in afternoon trade
techMARK 2,088.17 -0.38%
FTSE 100 5,806.71 +0.03%
FTSE 250 11,919.70 -0.44%
- Anglo jumps after CEO exit
- Pearson rises on Penguin merger speculation
The FTSE 100 bounced into positive territory by the close on Friday afternoon, albeit only just, after better-than-expected growth figures from the world's largest economy cheered the mood.
"Risk-on afternoon with the euro back on its feet and stock markets in Europe recovering earlier losses to inch up in the black thanks to US 3Q GDP data coming in a touch better than expected," said market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
"Wall Street isn’t quite following suit with the cheery tone as those underwhelming earnings from Apple and Amazon are limiting upside moves by keeping indices below down in the red. In Europe, we’ve had this morning to digest the Apple and Amazon numbers and the healthy US GDP release offered us just the catalyst to switch the buy signal on," he said.
Third-quarter US gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualised rate of 2%, better than the previous quarter's reading of a 1.3% increase, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. The figure topped the market consensus estimate of a 1.9% expansion.
Siddiqi said: "The US GDP data, although a pleasant surprise to the upside do still suggest the US recovery is weak and the labour market is slow so we would caution getting too excited about these just yet and would wait for further signals of growth such before turning optimistic on the US economy."
Tempering gains for equity markets today was the University of Michigan consumer confidence index which missed forecasts and news that even more banks have been linked to the LIBOR-fixing scandal.
In contrast, German consumer confidence moved higher to a November reading of 6.3 points from 6.1 points in October, according to the GfK Institute. The market was expecting a reading of 5.9. The previous month's reading was revised from 5.9 to 6.1.
FTSE 100: Anglo gains after departure of CEO Cynthia Carroll
Shares in Anglo American rose strongly on Friday after the firm announced that its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cynthia Carroll called it quits after five years on the job. Carroll, who joined the Anglo American board in January 2007 and took up the CEO position in March of that year, is thought to have been under intense pressure from investors on the back of a declining share price and the company's significant exposure to the volatile South African mining industry which has been hit by countless strikes this year.
Banking stocks were under pressure after The Wall Street Journal reported last night that the probe into the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) has spread to nine more banks, including Lloyds, which was in the red. RBS, HSBC and Barclays, already linked to the probe, were also unwanted today.
Publishing group Pearson was in demand today after confirming last night that it is in talks with Bertelsmann regarding a possible merger of their publishing houses, Penguin and Random House, respectively.
Engineering giant Weir was a high riser after Morgan Stanley raised its target price for the stock from 1,440p to 1,670p. The broker still maintained its 'underweight' rating though.
ARM Holdings was out of favour after Apple's results failed to meet expectations last night. The chip designer's products are found in some of Apple's gadgets, such as iPhones and iPads.
Pharmaceuticals giant Shire was a heavy faller despite Deutsche Bank, UBS and Credit Suisse reiterating their 'buy' and 'overweight' ratings on the stock this morning. Shares were pulling back after a solid rise yesterday on the back its third-quarter results.
FTSE 250: Elementis sinks on oilfield drilling slowdown
Speciality chemicals group Elementis was a heavy faller after saying that full-year headline operating profits will be hit by a temporary slowdown in oilfield drilling. Nevertheless, the group said it remains on track to hit earnings per share (EPS) forecasts this year due to a lower tax rate.
African Barrick Gold also dropped after scaling back its production guidance for the full year following a "challenging" third quarter which saw output and sales shrink dramatically year-on-year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,933.50p +4.09%
Evraz (EVR) 239.70p +1.83%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,717.00p +1.72%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,153.00p +1.68%
WPP (WPP) 800.50p +1.39%
BG Group (BG.) 1,324.00p +1.30%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,117.00p +1.18%
IMI (IMI) 929.00p +1.14%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 1,389.00p +1.02%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,106.50p +0.86%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 714.50p -2.92%
Prudential (PRU) 837.00p -1.88%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 833.50p -1.77%
Standard Life (SL.) 284.00p -1.46%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 656.50p -1.28%
Capita (CPI) 719.50p -1.24%
Carnival (CCL) 2,475.00p -1.20%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 208.10p -1.19%
Melrose (MRO) 235.00p -1.14%
Experian (EXPN) 1,065.00p -1.02%
FTSE 250 - Risers
AZ Electronic Materials SA (DI) (AZEM) 347.00p +3.27%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 134.20p +2.29%
Man Group (EMG) 81.85p +2.25%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 198.30p +2.22%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 507.00p +2.07%
Booker Group (BOK) 101.50p +2.01%
Drax Group (DRX) 557.00p +1.64%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 198.00p +1.54%
Supergroup (SGP) 670.00p +1.52%
Howden Joinery Group (HWDN) 167.30p +1.39%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Elementis (ELM) 204.90p -5.58%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 265.00p -5.19%
SDL (SDL) 537.00p -4.87%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 96.25p -4.70%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 2,851.00p -3.71%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 465.00p -3.43%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 605.00p -2.89%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 261.00p -2.87%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 121.90p -2.87%
Rotork (ROR) 2,229.00p -2.79%