- FTSE closes up 3.86 at 6,829.17
- Construction PMI better than expected
- US data impresses
techMARK 2,859.07 +0.02%
FTSE 100 6,829.17 +0.06%
FTSE 250 15,965.43 +0.05%
The FTSE ended Tuesday's session with a modest rise, as investors weighed better-than-expected construction data and looked ahead to what is set to be the busier half of the week.
Having declined from an initial jump at the opening bell, the FTSE 100 ultimately closed up 3.86 points at 6,829.17.
"While today's positive US data has pulled Europe's markets off their intraday lows, investors remain reluctant to load up too aggressively ahead of this week's European Central Bank rate meeting and this appears to be limiting the upside potential, as investors weigh up the likelihood of further action at Thursday's meeting," chief market analyst at CMC Markets, Michael Hewson, said.
UK construction growth picks up
The Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose from 62.4 to 64 in August, surprising analysts who had predicted a dip to 61.5.
Howard Archer, an economist at IHG Global Insight, said the "very positive and encouraging survey [...] should help to ensure that gross domestic product (GDP) growth holds up well despite some recent signs of a moderation in manufacturing activity".
However, Archer pointed out that construction output only accounts for 6.3% of GDP so much attention will now be focused on the PMI for the dominant services sector due out on Wednesday which "will provide important evidence as to whether UK growth is losing any momentum overall".
In other UK news, the number of households that have received help in purchasing a home from the government's 'Help to Buy' scheme has surpassed 48,390 since its launch.
More than four-fifths of the 48,393 homes went to first-time buyers, with house prices averaging £187,800, significantly below the national average of £265,000.
Data out Stateside impresses
The Institute for Supply Management's US manufacturing index increased to 59.0 last month, up from 51.7 in July. This was the highest reading since March 2011 and ahead of the consensus forecast of 57.0.
Analysts at Barclays Research said that the report suggests that growth in the manufacturing sector is picking up notably in the third quarter. They said this "perhaps reflect[s] a lagged response to the pick-up in final sales in the second quarter as well as solid growth in capital spending in the third quarter".
Other economic data released on Tuesday showed that US construction spending jumped 1.8% in July, reversing a 1.8% decline the month before. The estimate was for 1.0% growth over the month.
Anglo American "open to takeover offers"
The boss of Anglo American has said that the mining group would be open to takeover offers if an attractive bid presents itself. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mark Cutifani said that his role as chief executive is to "create value, however that may be shown".
Cutifani added that he was "very open", but that his ambition was to keep Anglo as a company in its own right. The news also helped to lift sector peers Glencore, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton higher.
Engineering firm Weir Group was also a high riser after Credit Suisse upgraded the shares
from 'neutral' to 'outperform' and hiked its target price from 2,540p to 3,060p. The bank said that the stock offers "a better relative risk return profile" near term than sector peer IMI which it downgraded to 'neutral'.
Supermarket stocks J Sainsbury, Wm Morrison and Tesco were attempting to claw their way back after reeling at the news of a profit warning and dividend cut from the latter last week.
Heading the other way were the banks with RBS and Lloyds among the worst performers. Barclays also inched lower after saying on Monday that it would take a £500m loss from the sale of certain Spanish banking assets to Caixabank.
Housebuilders were firmly out of favour as rate-hike speculation continued to dominate sentiment, especially after data which showed that UK construction activity reached a seven-month high in August. Barratt Developments and Persimmon were both in the red.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,706.00p +2.54%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,562.00p +2.53%
Tesco (TSCO) 230.90p +2.37%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,139.00p +1.97%
Aviva (AV.) 526.00p +1.94%
Old Mutual (OML) 202.60p +1.86%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 294.70p +1.80%
Glencore (GLEN) 367.55p +1.58%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,455.00p +1.46%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 791.00p +1.35%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 351.50p -2.44%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,991.00p -1.85%
IMI (IMI) 1,329.00p -1.85%
Royal Mail (RMG) 440.00p -1.74%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 362.40p -1.74%
SSE (SSE) 1,494.00p -1.65%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,721.00p -1.54%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 74.82p -1.36%
Fresnillo (FRES) 952.50p -1.19%
BP (BP.) 477.30p -1.12%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Exova Group (EXO) 190.00p +5.38%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,060.00p +4.64%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 167.80p +2.76%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 447.50p +2.29%
AO World (AO.) 225.00p +2.27%
Paragon Group Of Companies (PAG) 353.90p +2.19%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 588.50p +2.17%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 694.50p +2.13%
Man Group (EMG) 120.50p +2.03%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 181.70p +1.96%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 107.00p -4.29%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 237.40p -3.81%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 243.20p -3.15%
CSR (CSR) 770.00p -3.14%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 128.00p -2.96%
Unite Group (UTG) 437.00p -2.89%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 351.60p -2.33%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 143.00p -2.26%
EnQuest (ENQ) 117.60p -2.24%
Soco International (SIA) 413.30p -2.06%