Shares in stock market darling Burberry, the luxury fashion chain, leapt on Thursday, after it said its situation had started to improve towards the end of the July-September quarter, during which time sales growth in its stores slowed dramatically, as expected.
LFL sales over the half-year were up 3%, but much of the heavy lifting was done in the first quarter, when LFL sales were up 6%, while in the second quarter LFL sales growth eased to 1%. However, that second quarter performance was better than some market observers were expecting; Seymour Pierce, for instance, was wrong footed by the late September revival as it had predicted second quarter like-for-like retail sales would be down 2%.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was on the up after it priced Direct Line at 175p a share, valuing the insurance firm at over £2.6bn. The offer comprises 450m existing shares, representing 30% of the 1.5bn total, raising RBS £787m. The flotation price is in the bottom half of the indicated range of between 160p and 195p a share. As well, in general, banks are receiving a bid after reports of speculation that the implementation of Basel capital rules could be delayed.
Croda was on the up, as it continues to bounce higher from its simple 200 day moving average.
Miners were generally higher as investors turned to the more sensitive stocks for a good deal. ENRC, Kazakhmys, and Vedanta were all higher by late afternoon.
Meanwhile, leading the fallers was supermarket chain Morrisons after Credit Suissee downgraded to a neutral stance, having previously expecting the shares
to out-perform. Market research from Kantar Worldpanel suggests Morrisons has not regained its mojo after a mediocre first half of the year.
"Although management expects negative like-for-like again for the second half (the first was down 0.9%), we were initially more hopeful, but, following the new data, we have now revised down our expectation of second half like for like to -3.0% from 0.0%," the broker revealed.
GlaxoSmithKline shares were hit by the news the company is to divulge data from a number of its clinical trials to other researchers. The company is taking the step to put an end to the speculation that the industry is hiding secrets and to prompt other companies to do the same in order to further drug research.
Smith & Nephew continued to fall after Wednesday's news that the medical equipment group was the subject of a sell note from Societe Generale. The shares also went ex-dividend on the same day.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,140.00p +13.66%
Barclays (BARC) 233.00p +4.96%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 275.30p +4.80%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,327.00p +4.77%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 333.70p +4.02%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 749.00p +3.60%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,095.00p +3.30%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,633.00p +2.96%
Evraz (EVR) 249.30p +2.93%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,324.00p +2.56%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 269.90p -1.50%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,429.50p -0.45%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 653.00p -0.31%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,660.50p -0.28%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,670.00p -0.24%
Next (NXT) 3,586.00p -0.19%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 728.50p -0.07%
Serco Group (SRP) 583.50p 0.00%
National Grid (NG.) 690.50p 0.00%
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,100.00p 0.00%