LONDON (SHARECAST) - 1630: Close The FTSE made strong gains on Tuesday, led by BP after the company's results came in above both the market's and analysts' expectations. The impact of Hurricane Sandy appeared to subside, at least temporarily, with corporate earnings across Europe managing to lift sentiment. Spanish GDP figures showed that the country remained in recession in Q3, while German unemployment gained for a seventh consecutive month in September, increasing by 20,000 - double the 10,000 gain expected. The FTSE closed up 55 at 5,850.
1613: Despite the negative news-flow today shares of Barclays are moving up the leader board. Part of the explanation for that may be the comments out from analysts such as those at Investec. They are saying that: "However, given that (unlike others) Barclays did not “low-ball” LIBOR through the crisis, it would not appear to be the most exposed." Lloyds and RBS are another case in these analysts´ opinion. As regards the alleged mis-selling of interest rate swaps, Investec points out that Barclays has, "already de facto confirmed that it does not need or intend to take any top-up in the third quarter (to re-dress mis-selling to (primarily) smaller, less sophisticated customers)." Lloyds on the other hand made no such provision in the second quarter and RBS took only a nominal initial charge of 50m pounds. FTSE 100 up 55 to 5,850.
1528: Kathleen Brooks, Research Director at Forex.com is telling clients that: "From a fundamental perspective the impact from Sandy on the economy is difficult to tell at this stage. However, estimated insurance claims seem fairly small at 5bn dollars and the re-build may not be that extensive. Although super-storm Sandy was violent, disruptive and tragic for some the economic impact should be minimal. The storm hasn’t disrupted economic data releases and we don’t expect it to affect the payrolls data due on Friday or next week’s Presidential election." In fact, news has just come through that the New York Stock Exchange is cautiously optimistic that it will be able to re-open its doors tomorrow; that according to remarks by New York Governor Mario Cuomo. FTSE 100 up 49 to 5,844.
1522:New York city mayor Michael Bloomberg has indicated in press conference that the city´s two priorities are restoring power to the two million people who are still estimated to be without it and the restoration of the underground transit system. Full bus service may be re-established by tomorrow.
1500: Shares of Lonmin are now leading gains on the FTSE 350 after the South Africa focused platinum miner announced plans to raise in the region of 800m dollars through a rights issue. Final details of the rights issue have yet to be determined but the new shares will be issued at a minimum price of $1 a share. FTSE 100 up 47 to 5,842.
1300:S&P Case Shiller index for August has come in at 0.49 per cent month-on-month, in line with the 0.50 per cent consensus forecast. As an aside, quite a few US copmpany results are coming through. A partial return to normality perhaps? Streets in Manhattan are no longer flooded, although the subway reportedly still is. FTSE 100 up 54 to 5,849.
1255: AMEC has just reaffirmed double-digit underlying revenue growth forecasts for its resource operations in 2012 and 2013.
1213: This is Barclays Research´s take on the numbers just out from the CBI: "Despite the leap in the CBI survey, we do not expect a sharp increase in official retail sales data in the coming months. The CBI balance has been indicating weaker sales growth than the ONS data and today’s improvement could reflect some catching up. In addition, we think that the outlook for the retail sector is for a measured recovery rather than a rapid improvement."
1105: The Confederation of British Industry´s (CBI) total retail sales balance for the month of October has come in at +30, well ahead of last month´s reading (+6) and the consensus expectation of +8. FTSE 100 at day´s high of 5,852, up by 57.
1031: IAG could add more wide-body planes at London’s Gatwick airport in a review of capacity at a base dominated by aging single-aisle jets that generate lower profit margins than operations at its main Heathrow hub, one of the company´s Managing Directors has told Bloomberg. Not to be missed of course, however, is the likely impact on the company arising from hurricane Sandy.
1010: Banking stocks are mixed today, with Lloyds and Barclays making decent gains and StanChart and HSBC firmly in the red. Nomura said that StanChart's third-quarter results were broadly in line but a 'touch below if we are nit picking'. After StanChart said that third-quarter ALM income was slightly down on the first half run rate due to lower reinvestment yields, Nomura highlighted this this would be a 'negative read-across for BSM at HSBC'. The FTSE 100 is up 39 points at 5,835.
1000: The European Commission´s economic sentiment indicator for the Eurozone in the month of October fell to a three year low, at 84.5 points, after 85.2 for September (Consensus: 84.4).
0929: PIMCO manager says he expects Spain bail-out petition to be made relatively shortly.
0913: Standard Chartered has sunk to the bottom of the top share index after foreign exchange headwinds lowered its income at the group level by circa 3%. For their part analysts at Nomura have this to say: "As long as prospects of Asian economies are better than Europe, banks exposed to those prospects will continue to outperform over the longer term, and as such retain our Buy rating on STAN (and HSBC)." Nevertheless, they add that: "In the very near term, though, a lack of positive earnings momentum may weigh on the stock, but we expect by full year stage, STAN can beat lowered consensus expectations, particularly with its cost flexibility." National Grid is also amongst this morning´s worst performers, possibly due to its exposure to flooding in the US. FTSE 100 up 35 to 5,830.
0910: US equity futures are again running on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the flood waters in the low-lying parts of New York city were expected to have receeded by midnight last night. The above is probably the reason why insurers are now amongst the best performing sectors on the DJ Stoxx 600. That despite a tepid reaction to a 9th round of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan overnight and worse than expected German unemployment data just out. FTSE 100 up 37 to 5,832.
0907: The FTSE 100 is up 34 points at 5,830. The Bank of Japan last night expanded monetary stimulus for the second month in a row, announcing QE9 only a few weeks following QE8 in an attempt to give the economy a kick-start. However the move failed to give Asian stocks a real lift overnight. Simon Denham, the CEO of Capital Spreads, said this morning: 'Unfortunately the world’s third biggest economy has suffered from a dearth of exports most recently as their relationship with their neighbour has been deteriorating somewhat and at the moment the Chinese are simply not buying Japanese goods. If ever there was an example of a central bank wedded to stimulus measures the BOJ is it and so others will be thinking, ‘if they can do it, so can we’, meaning that there’s every chance more stimulus could come from the BOE, ECB and Federal Reserve in the months and years to come.'
0801: Integrated oil giant BP is worming its way back into the affections of UK pension fund managers after raising its divi on the back of forecast beating third quarter results. The stock leads Footsie higher, with the FTSE 100 up 15 at 5,810.