- FTSE hits five-month high
- BP drives index higher after impressing with Q3
- Gold price drags miners lower
techMARK 2,656.00 +0.58%
FTSE 100 6,774.73 +0.73%
FTSE 250 15,535.51 +0.69%
The FTSE made strong gains throughout today's session, ending the day 49 points higher, driven by BP's performance and gains across the pond.
That said, the gains were modest as US investors were still cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting which will see it announce its decision on whether to alter its monetary policy.
Data from the US showed that consumer confidence fell in October, although this was largely attributed to the shutdown of the government earlier this month.
The Commerce Department revealed that September retail sales declined by 0.1%, driven by a fall in auto purchases.
Furthermore, the producer price index also fell last month, dropping a seasonally adjusted 0.1%.
Back on this side of the Atlantic, UK mortgage approvals have hit a high, totalling 66,735 in September - a level not seen since February 2008. The Bank of England also revealed that the effective interest rate on new mortgage lending dropped to a record low at 3.3% - the lowest level since records began in 2004.
As energy firms today faced tough questioning from MPs, a damning report was released, calling for "greater fairness in terms of costs charged to energy consumers" and suggests bills could be £70 cheaper if competition between companies was increased.
Will Straw, an associate director of IPPR, which issued the report, said: "The key question for the Big Six is why profits of 5-6% are acceptable in a competitive market. In 1998, as the market was liberalised, the regulator believed 1.5% was an adequate margin for energy suppliers. Profits in other sectors like supermarkets are as low as 2%."
BP shines after Q3 update, Fresnillo hit by gold price
were firmly in the top spot today following a positive quarterly update from the oil giant. The group has 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.
Housebuilders were performing well after it was reported that the number of new mortgage approvals rose to 66,700 in September, up from 63,400 in the month before (consensus: 66,000).
Precious metal miner Fresnillo fell into the bottom spot on the FTSE after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released data showing that Russian gold reserves fell in September, something that hadn't happened for a year, pushing the gold price
Tullow Oil declined after it revealed that the Wisting Alternative well, offshore Norway, had reached total depth and although oil shows had been encountered, the reservoir rock was of poor quality. As such, it will be plugged and abandoned.
Close behind was Lloyds Banking Group, which swung to a pre-tax profit of £1.7bn in the first nine months of the year from a loss of £607m in the same period in 2012, but saw a £750m increase in its PPI bill, pushing shares firmly lower. Altogether, the company has paid £8bn in relation to PPI.
Randgold Resources was retreating one day after shares rose strongly on reports of plans for further exploration in Cote d'Ivoire, also hit by the above IMF report.
Temporary power group Aggreko retreated a day after it said it expected full year profits to be in line with market expectations despite the absence of a one-off lift from the London Olympics. It yesterday occupied the top spot on the FTSE.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BP (BP.) 477.50p +5.62%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,255.00p +2.53%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,270.00p +2.42%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 485.60p +2.23%
BT Group (BT.A) 369.40p +2.13%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 888.50p +2.13%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,196.00p +2.00%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 991.00p +1.95%
Capita (CPI) 988.50p +1.91%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 352.00p +1.85%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,019.00p -2.21%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 936.00p -2.19%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 78.01p -2.02%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,762.00p -1.83%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,584.00p -1.49%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,773.00p -1.46%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,798.00p -1.37%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 448.30p -1.28%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 364.80p -1.00%
Compass Group (CPG) 896.50p -0.77%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 430.50p +6.06%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 528.00p +5.18%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 126.00p +4.56%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 790.00p +4.02%
ITE Group (ITE) 319.00p +3.94%
Redrow (RDW) 263.90p +3.57%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 245.00p +3.55%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 527.50p +3.43%
NMC Health (NMC) 367.00p +3.38%
Workspace Group (WKP) 498.00p +3.34%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 21.10p -4.09%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 167.50p -3.79%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 117.90p -2.80%
Evraz (EVR) 122.60p -2.54%
EnQuest (ENQ) 132.30p -2.43%
International Personal Finance (IPF) 595.00p -2.06%
Playtech (PTEC) 745.50p -1.97%
BH Macro Ltd. EUR Shares (BHME) € 19.66 -1.95%
Elementis (ELM) 262.60p -1.65%
F&C Asset Management (FCAM) 103.30p -1.62%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 150.50p +3.79%
Skyepharma (SKP) 95.50p +3.24%
Vislink (VLK) 50.12p +2.82%
Ricardo (RCDO) 601.50p +2.12%
Promethean World (PRW) 19.50p +1.96%
NCC Group (NCC) 161.75p +1.73%
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 0.36p +1.39%
Kofax (KFX) 375.00p +1.35%
Anite (AIE) 88.50p +1.14%
Torotrak (TRK) 27.62p +0.91%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Puricore (PURI) 47.00p -6.93%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 142.50p -2.73%
RM (RM.) 115.00p -2.13%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 126.00p -1.56%
Vectura Group (VEC) 111.75p -1.11%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 881.50p -0.96%
Optos (OPTS) 157.00p -0.79%