Oil giant BP gained ground after profits came in well ahead of forecasts in the third quarter and the company moved early on a dividend increase to nine cents per share (up 12.5%).
In its first quarterly announcement since the recent deal with Rosneft, BP reported a clean net income of $5,170m on an underlying replacement cost (RC) basis, well ahead of Investec's $4,020m estimate.
Banking stocks were mixed today, with Barclays and Lloyds making gains whilst Standard Chartered disappointed with its third-quarter results.
Despite the negative news-flow today surrounding shares
of Barclays analysts at Investec were 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.
Nomura said that StanChart's results were broadly in line, but a "touch below if we are nit picking". 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" whose shares were flat by midday.
Oilfield support services Wood Group was also higher after announcing that it has bagged a multi-million pound contract for a wind farm off the coast of the UK. The £17m contract is to fabricate, install, commission, operate and maintain two weather monitoring stations off the Norfolk and Suffolk coast.
Resolution also got a significant boosted, along with the life insurance sector as a whole, as the sector recovers from signifcant losses seen on Monday, when it likely priced in significant losses ahead of Hurricane Sandy's arrival on the east coast of the US. As well, analysts at UBS had this to say: "We also rate Resolution Buy, based on valuation, and given improving governance, its own restructuring momentum, and underperformance year to date."
AMEC shares were on the up after the company reaffirmed its previous revenue guidance for its business in natural resource markets. The company said this is expected to deliver double-digit underlying revenue growth in both 2012 and 2013, even excluding the acquisition of goods.
Meanwhile, United Utilities fell into the bottom spot following reports that Moody's ratings agency had warned that there is on-going regulatory uncertainty in the utilities sector regarding proposed licence alterations. For the same reason, Pennon, which owns South West Water, was also in the bottom 10.
National Grid was lower, most likely on the back of the company's position in the hurricane battered US, where it has issued warnings over power outages and service interruptions.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BP (BP.) 444.80p +4.66%
Barclays (BARC) 239.10p +3.48%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 213.90p +3.23%
GKN (GKN) 210.20p +2.79%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,766.00p +2.67%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 730.50p +2.53%
Capita (CPI) 735.50p +2.22%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 849.00p +2.17%
Amec (AMEC) 1,056.00p +2.13%
Aviva (AV.) 335.00p +2.01%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
United Utilities Group (UU.) 696.00p -2.52%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,481.50p -1.07%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 7,260.00p -1.02%
National Grid (NG.) 701.50p -0.92%
Schroders (SDR) 1,517.00p -0.65%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 712.50p -0.49%
Pennon Group (PNN) 724.00p -0.48%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,117.00p -0.29%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 393.90p -0.28%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,646.00p -0.24%