- Burberry jumps after Q3 growth beats forecasts
- Anglo American gains after UBS upgrade
- World Bank revises up growth forecasts
- FTSE 100 at eight-month high; DAX hits new record
techMARK 2,840.71 +0.79%
FTSE 100 6,819.86 +0.78%
FTSE 250 16,292.94 +0.35%
Stocks finished strongly on Wednesday, pushing the FTSE 100 above the psychologically-important level of 6,800 for the first since in eight months, helped by an improved macro outlook and strong gains from British luxury brand Burberry and mining giant Anglo American.
London's benchmark index ended the session 53 points higher at 6,819.86, rising 0.78% to hit its highest closing level since May 22nd 2013. Meanwhile, the XETRA DAX index in Germany rose 2% today to hit a new record high.
Sentiment was also boosted by an upwards revision to 2014 global growth forecasts by the World Bank, which expects the world's economy to expand by 3.2% this year. This is an acceleration from the 2.4% growth in 2013 and higher than its June forecast for 2014 growth of 3%.
Meanwhile, stocks were given an extra lift today by a strong start on Wall Street as US investors celebrated the latest results out from bellwether Bank of America which beat expectations with a surge in profits in the fourth quarter. A pick-up in US mortgage applications and an improvement in a New York regional manufacturing gauge also helped to lift stocks Stateside today.
Comments from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney were in focus today as he said that house prices would increase strongly in 2014 before decelerating next year. Speaking to the Treasury Committee today, he played down concerns that UK banks will be hit by funding problems when the Funding for Lending scheme finishes next year.
Burberry jumps after sales update, Anglo American upgraded
High-end fashion group Burberry surged today after reporting a better-than-expected 14% rise in retail sales in the third quarter, helped by double-digit growth in its key Asia-Pacific region. Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts said she was "pleased" with Burberry's performance during the "all-important festive period".
Diversified mining firm Anglo American was also a high riser after analysts at UBS upgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'buy', saying that the risk-reward balance is more "compelling" after recent weakness. The bank said: "Anglo has underperformed the other diversified miners by 18% over the last three months, and, in our opinion, the valuation now looks attractive."
Rio Tinto, meanwhile, was making gains ahead of its production update out tomorrow. Other mining stocks, however, were mixed with precious metal producers Fresnillo and Randgold Resources falling after Deutsche Bank cut its target prices for both stocks.
Standard Life was higher after Credit Suisse lifted the shares
to 'outperform', highlighting its preference for life insurers over property and casualty (P&C) firms. As such, the bank also maintained its positive stance towards Prudential and Aviva, giving both stocks a lift.
Auto engineering group GKN advanced on plans for its Driveline division to strengthen its global footprint with a new manufacturing plant in Russia - an "increasingly important" market, it said.
Leading the downside was financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown after saying it will need to increase its assets under management by £3.5bn over three years to cover the anticipated revenue shortfall resulting from the changes made to its pricing model under the Retail Distribution Review.
SSE and Centrica were suffering from the effects of a broker downgrade today after Barclays Capital lowered both names to 'underweight', saying that the stocks "still trade on premium valuations" despite recent underperformance.
Imperial Tobacco was in the red after going ex-dividend.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Anglo American (AAL) 1,332.50p +5.54%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,537.00p +4.63%
GKN (GKN) 403.60p +3.17%
G4S (GFS) 258.00p +3.16%
Rexam (REX) 516.00p +3.10%
Royal Mail (RMG) 615.00p +3.02%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,254.00p +2.71%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 3,845.00p +2.38%
Standard Life (SL.) 385.90p +2.33%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,043.00p +2.05%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,446.00p -4.11%
Centrica (CNA) 315.50p -3.52%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,185.00p -3.02%
SSE (SSE) 1,320.00p -2.15%
Fresnillo (FRES) 696.00p -1.97%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,747.00p -1.69%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 354.20p -1.50%
Amec (AMEC) 1,052.00p -1.41%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,790.00p -1.35%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,713.00p -1.27%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 358.20p +5.98%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 191.60p +5.04%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 173.00p +4.72%
Workspace Group (WKP) 573.00p +3.99%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 118.50p +3.40%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 201.00p +3.02%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 276.50p +2.86%
St James's Place (STJ) 774.50p +2.79%
Hays (HAS) 139.60p +2.57%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 1,100.00p +2.42%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 734.50p -3.55%
Polymetal International (POLY) 514.00p -3.02%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,232.00p -2.92%
888 Holdings (888) 158.90p -2.75%
Debenhams (DEB) 83.20p -2.46%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 172.50p -2.38%
National Express Group (NEX) 293.00p -2.30%
CSR (CSR) 680.00p -2.16%
Lonmin (LMI) 301.90p -2.14%
Diploma (DPLM) 695.00p -2.11%