Cruise operator Carnival rose three per cent, making it the top riser among FTSE 100 stocks in afternoon trade, buoyed by news that its US rival Royal Caribbean has raised its full-year forecast. Carnival had to cut prices to get people back on board with the idea of cruise holidays after the Costa Concordia disaster back in January. The hope seems to be that this is now water under the bridge.
Speciality chemicals group Johnson Matthey was given a boost after Numis Securities reiterated its add rating on the stock, with a $39.55 target price.
Banks were higher following data from the European Central Bank which showed that the Eurozone periphery country banks are becoming less dependent on funding from the ECB, marking a definite improvements to the region's banking systems.
Consumer products giant Unilever was in demand after underlying sales growth beat expectations in the third quarter, helped by a strong performance in the emerging markets.
Precious metals producer Fresnillo rose after approving the feasibility study for the development of the $500m San Julian silver project in Mexico. As well, analysts at Citi today raised their view on shares
of the precious metals miner to hold from sell.
Heading the other way was media giant WPP after it admitted its third-quarter growth was slower than that seen in the second quarter, which also came in short of expectations, while the fourth quarter is set to slow further.
ARM Holdings was also heading lower as investors take stock of the previous two day's surging share price, which leapt after the chip designer beat forecasts in the third quarter and gave a confident outlook for the rest of the year.
Kazakhmys was unwanted after failing to impress with its own third-quarter figures despite saying that it's on track to meet full-year targets. Fellow miners Evraz and ENRC were also lower, weighed down by the negative news coming out of the automotive sector today in the form of profit warnings by Daimler and Ford.
News that China's industrial output growth is set to speed up in the final quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter failed to boost the sector, as might have been expected.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell was down after announcing that it is looking to buy Hess Corporation's stakes in the Beryl area fields and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation Systems (SAGE) in the North Sea. The company has signed an agreement with Hess to increase its participation in the area for $525m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Carnival (CCL) 2,513.00p +3.37%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,934.00p +2.38%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,268.00p +2.35%
Barclays (BARC) 235.25p +2.33%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,317.00p +2.30%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 852.50p +2.22%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,519.50p +2.19%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 160.60p +2.16%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 757.50p +2.02%
Aviva (AV.) 336.10p +1.76%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 239.10p -4.47%
WPP (WPP) 793.50p -1.79%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 336.80p -1.41%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 740.00p -1.33%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 666.50p -1.33%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,098.50p -1.01%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,168.50p -0.96%
Xstrata (XTA) 966.10p -0.90%
Amec (AMEC) 1,040.00p -0.86%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,136.00p -0.61%