High Street clothing and homeware retailer Next topped the leader board after it reported an increase in third quarter sales, despite ongoing trading volatility, as it upwardly revised its earnings forecasts for the full year.
Sector peer Marks and Spencer was also firmly higher after Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer research group, issued data which revealed that M&S has eased the decline in its clothing market share, resulting in a flat market share for the 24 weeks to the end of September.
Banking group Barclays posted a strong rise in its nine-month pre-tax profits from £962m to £2.85bn, while its mis-sold personal protection insurance (PPI) pay-outs were steady at £3.95bn.
continued to spurt higher one day after a positive quarterly update from the oil giant. Tationhe group raised its dividend 5.6% to 9.5 cents a share after third quarter earnings fell less than expected. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes declined to $3.7bn from $5bn a year earlier, beating the $3.4bn forecast.
Oilfield service provider Petrofac was also higher after it won a share of a $650m contract to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the Algerian government. The group is leading a partnership with Italian contractor Bonatti to provide a 32-month contract to extend the life of the Alrar gas field in south east Algeria for Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned resources company.
Meanwhile, strong momentum in the UK saw pensions and savings provider Standard Life boast of continued third-quarter strong growth in assets under management but it was not enough to hit analysts' expectations. The above news about a cap on auto-enrolment workplace pension scheme charges also weighed on the stock.
Sales slowed in constant currencies at Pearson in the third quarter but the publisher remained on track to hit its full year earnings targets. Although the Financial Times owner saw 4% sales growth in the first nine months at constant currencies, down from 5% in the first half of the year, but on an underlying basis it remained at 2%.
Standard Chartered shares were also retreating, with investors in profit-taking mode one day after the company reported a slight increase in operating profit for the year-to-date due to tight cost controls. In a trading update for the nine months ended September 30th, the financial services company said it delivered a strong performance despite an uncertain market environment.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Next (NXT) 5,460.00p +4.90%
Experian (EXPN) 1,270.00p +3.25%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 493.90p +1.71%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,842.00p +1.66%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,610.00p +1.64%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 321.80p +1.58%
Barclays (BARC) 270.10p +1.52%
BP (BP.) 484.00p +1.36%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,487.00p +1.29%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,327.00p +1.22%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Life (SL.) 356.00p -3.58%
Pearson (PSON) 1,326.00p -2.86%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,500.00p -2.82%
Schroders (SDR) 2,637.00p -1.53%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,647.00p -1.44%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,292.00p -1.21%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,519.00p -1.14%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,147.00p -1.12%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,803.00p -1.11%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,253.00p -1.03%