- FTSE closes almost flat, erasing earlier gains
- Tracking loses seen in US ahead of Fed decision
- Next holds onto position in top spot, Standard Life leads fallers
techMARK 2,665.02 +0.34%
FTSE 100 6,777.70 +0.04%
FTSE 250 15,582.96 +0.31%
The FTSE beat a hasty retreat this afternoon erasing most of this morning's strong gains, tracking declines seen across the pond ahead of the Federal Reserve statement.
The FTSE 100 ultimately ended the session just three points higher that at the opening bell.
The central bank's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to announce it will keep its monthly $85bn asset purchase programme unchanged and interest rate at 0.25%.
The possibility of the Fed tapering at this meeting was "very slim", according to Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari.
Meanwhile, an ADP employment report on private non-farm payrolls revealed that US employers added 130,000 jobs in October, below the 150,000 which were expected, and despite a large rise in hiring amongst large firms. It followed a gain of 166,000 last month.
Furthermore, US inflation fell unexpectedly as higher energy costs were offset by flat food prices. The consumer price index rose to 1.7% in September from 1.8% in August.
Back on this side of the Atlantic, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, was quoted in a Welsh newspaper as saying that monetary policy will not be tightened until there is evidence of "real traction and momentum" in the recovery.
Several energy stocks were lower after the so-called 'Big Six' energy firms have been charged with behaving like a "chorus line acting in concert", after they faced tough questioning on recent hefty price rises of around 10% from MPs. In a damning report by regulator Ofgem, it was revealed that wholesale electricity costs actually fell over the past three years, but some companies still increased prices for customers.
UK Pensions Minister Steve Webb has proposed a cap on the level of fees charged on workplace pensions in a 'full frontal assault' on the pensions industry. The Liberal Democrat minister has suggested that fees charged by pensions providers on auto-enrolment workplace pension schemes should be capped at 0.75%, lower than the 1% originally pencilled in and some existing fees that top 2%.
BoE Govenor needs to see "real traction and momentum in this recovery"
"We're not going to look to tighten monetary policy until we see real traction and momentum in this recovery that has been sustained for some time," Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, said in an interview with Cardiff-based newspaper Western Mail.
"Most of the growth in momentum is coming from the household sector and there's a pick-up in the housing market from quite low levels."
Next continues to impress with jump in Q3 sales
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.
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.
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 taking profits 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) 5,450.00p +4.71%
Experian (EXPN) 1,270.00p +3.25%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,848.00p +1.99%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 493.20p +1.57%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 321.70p +1.55%
Kingfisher (KGF) 380.60p +1.47%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,181.00p +1.20%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,278.00p +1.19%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,222.00p +1.18%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 947.00p +1.18%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Standard Life (SL.) 354.50p -3.98%
Pearson (PSON) 1,316.00p -3.59%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,508.00p -2.30%
Schroders (SDR) 2,619.00p -2.20%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,643.00p -1.68%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,789.00p -1.40%
Old Mutual (OML) 202.70p -1.03%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,523.00p -0.98%
SSE (SSE) 1,428.00p -0.90%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 444.60p -0.83%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 197.20p +15.93%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 46.50p +5.11%
Thomas Cook Group (TCG) 144.40p +4.34%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,075.00p +2.87%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 339.40p +2.79%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 352.40p +2.68%
3i Group (III) 373.20p +2.67%
BBA Aviation (BBA) 343.60p +2.60%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 225.80p +2.59%
Mitchells & Butlers (MAB) 401.00p +2.43%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,684.00p -3.11%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 50.10p -2.53%
IP Group (IPO) 151.00p -1.95%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 102.30p -1.92%
Workspace Group (WKP) 488.90p -1.83%
888 Holdings (888) 162.00p -1.82%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 409.60p -1.73%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 585.00p -1.68%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 113.70p -1.56%
Evraz (EVR) 120.70p -1.55%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Ricardo (RCDO) 618.50p +2.83%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 22.75p +2.25%
Puricore (PURI) 48.00p +2.13%
Triad Group (TRD) 14.50p +1.75%
Anite (AIE) 90.00p +1.69%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 128.00p +1.59%
Skyepharma (SKP) 97.00p +1.57%
Torotrak (TRK) 28.00p +1.36%
Kofax (KFX) 380.00p +1.33%
RM (RM.) 116.50p +1.30%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Microgen (MCGN) 120.75p -5.29%
Vislink (VLK) 49.12p -2.00%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,575.00p -1.87%
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 0.36p -1.37%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 148.50p -1.33%
Optos (OPTS) 155.75p -0.80%
Vectura Group (VEC) 111.00p -0.67%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 142.00p -0.35%
Sepura (SEPU) 146.75p -0.17%