- FTSE inches higher by close
- Barlcays suspends six FX traders
- Fed officials reveal their divided opinions
- PO staff call off Monday's strike at bigger branches
techMARK 2,657.61 -0.17%
FTSE 100 6,734.74 +0.05%
FTSE 250 15,455.69 -0.16%
The FTSE ultimately settled marginally higher after small movements either side of the opening level throughout the session.
Making headlines this afternoon was Barclays, which revealed it had suspended six FX traders while it investigated allegation of global currency market manipulation - it stressed there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
Monday's proposed strike by Post Office staff at larger branches has been called off, with renewed talks to begin next week, the Communication Workers Union said.
In other news, the government has announced its intention to take "action on water bills", with details of its plan to tackle the rising utility price set to be unveiled next week.
Over in the US, the Institute for Supply Management's factory index climbed to 56.4 in October, the highest since April 2011, from 56.2 a month earlier. It exceeded the 50 reading that signals expansion and a forecast of 55.
Earlier the US Markit manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index (PMI) nudged higher to 51.8 in October, after a reading of 51.1 the prior month. Economists had pencilled in a reading of 51.1.
Much-anticipated comments from Fed officials revealed their dividend positions on the subject of monetary policy, with Charles Plosser, who is the President of the Philadelphia Fed, saying he is ready to taper, and James Bullard of St. Louis backing the programme whole-heartedly.
Back on this side of the pond, UK manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) slipped to 56.0 in October from a revised reading of 56.3 in September. That was a shade below the consensus estimate of 56.1 for the month but Markit pointed out the rate of expansion was only moderately below the two-and-a-half year high recorded in August.
Meanwhile, October Chinese factory activity gave investors some cause for concern because although it climbed from 51.1 to 51.4 month-on-month, there was in fact a significant gap between big and small manufacturers, with the smaller companies actually experiencing a contraction in the four-week period.
hammered after update
Meggitt had a double dose of bad news for investors as it told them trading had been "slightly" below expectations and a supply hiccup could cost 20m pounds. The FTSE 100 aerospace and defence manufacturer warned it now expected 2013 revenue growth rates to be in the "low single digits". It had given guidance of mid single digit revenue growth for the full year at its interims in August.
RBS was also significantly lower after it said it will not split into 'good' and 'bad' banks and will instead create an internal 'bad bank' where it will shelve off £38bn of its toxic assets. The group reported a 14% fall in core operating profit to £1.28bn in the third quarter, while non-core operating losses widened to £845m from £586m a year earlier due to exit and restructuring costs as the bank prepares to return to privatisation.
Meanwhile, shares in Vodafone were lifted by growing speculation that US giant AT&T was plotting a takeover of the UK mobile company. Executives at AT&T were putting together plans for a possible takeover of the company next year, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the situation.
IAG climbed after Deutsche Bank reiterated its 'buy' rating on the stock, with a target price of 360p, ahead of its results due out next week.
Shares in Royal Dutch Shell regained some of yesterday's heavy losses, which occurred after the group said its earnings declined more than expected due to weaker refinery conditions, higher costs and lower volumes. Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said headwinds that continued to "erode the near term outlook" included weak industry refining margins and security issues in Nigeria but pointed to a strong flow of new projects and said Shell would increase the pace of asset sales.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Vodafone Group (VOD) 232.50p +3.56%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 353.90p +1.72%
Schroders (SDR) 2,617.00p +1.47%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,189.50p +1.39%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,097.50p +1.01%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,778.00p +0.98%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 804.50p +0.94%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,184.00p +0.82%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 687.30p +0.76%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,273.00p +0.63%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Meggitt (MGGT) 509.00p -11.09%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 340.00p -7.51%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,507.00p -2.87%
Barclays (BARC) 256.30p -2.77%
G4S (GFS) 254.80p -2.56%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 332.25p -2.28%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 837.00p -2.11%
Fresnillo (FRES) 957.50p -1.85%
Experian (EXPN) 1,247.00p -1.81%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,169.00p -1.76%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Greencore Group (GNC) 187.50p +4.11%
IP Group (IPO) 151.00p +2.72%
RPS Group (RPS) 297.20p +2.48%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 20.80p +2.21%
WH Smith (SMWH) 920.50p +2.16%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 668.50p +2.06%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 800.00p +1.91%
Hiscox Ltd (HSX) 673.50p +1.81%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 414.60p +1.62%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 228.50p +1.56%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Polymetal International (POLY) 566.50p -5.50%
Afren (AFR) 150.00p -4.88%
Senior (SNR) 286.00p -3.96%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,626.00p -3.33%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 254.00p -3.02%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,137.00p -2.99%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 270.00p -2.84%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 147.30p -2.77%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 790.00p -2.71%
Fenner (FENR) 389.90p -2.52%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Puricore (PURI) 48.50p +5.43%
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 0.36p +4.35%
Skyepharma (SKP) 103.00p +3.26%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 145.00p +3.20%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 148.50p +3.12%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.75p +1.83%
SDL (SDL) 255.50p +1.39%
Promethean World (PRW) 19.50p +1.30%
Ricardo (RCDO) 616.50p +0.98%
Microgen (MCGN) 121.50p +0.62%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 141.00p -3.75%
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) 70.50p -1.40%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.71p -0.73%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 18.12p -0.68%
Vectura Group (VEC) 109.50p -0.45%
Optos (OPTS) 156.00p -0.16%
Gov Bond 7-10YR UCITS ETF (IEGM) € 179.72 -0.04%