- Putin says not interested in break-up of Ukraine
- Russia to incorporate Crimea
- Antofagasta down despite tripling expectations for dividend
- Resolution sinks sharply as founders step down
- ASOS, Speedy Hire plummet after updates
techMARK 2,801.57 +0.19%
FTSE 100 6,601.92 +0.51%
FTSE 250 16,357.11 +0.37%
UK stocks had erased their losses managing to end the session in the blue as traders breathed a sigh of relief that Russia does not intend a further break-up of Ukraine, possibly the worst scenario market watchers were entertaining.
It remains to be seen, however, whether new sanctions will be forthcoming from the European Union and the US - which might lead to renewed tensions in financial markets.
The FTSE 100, which had dropped to an intraday low of 6,535 early on, traded up 0.19% to 6,590 by the close of trading on Tuesday.
Following Sunday's referendum in Crimea, which saw locals vote overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation, Putin called for a treaty to accept the accession, defying sanctions imposed by European Union (EU)and US leaders yesterday who labelled the vote as illegal.
Putin said that Moscow felt "robbed" when Crimea, historically a Russian region, was "handed over like a sack of potatoes" to Ukraine in 1954.
He praised the Crimean voters, saying that the "referendum is of a vital and historical importance", and stressed that the vote was fully in line with international law, but added that his intention is not to further encroach on Ukrainian territory.
Antofagasta and Sainsbury erase early gains, Resolution sinks
Defence contractor BAE Systems led gains after RBC Capital Markets lifted its rating on the stock to 'outperform' and raised its target price from 450p to 490p.
Heading the other way was insurance group Resolution, after announcing that two of its founders, Clive Cowdery and John Tiner, are stepping down from the board given that the company has completed its restructuring programme. Resolution, which now intends to change its name to Friends Life Group, reported a big jump in profits for 2013 but left its dividend unchanged.
After an earlier rise, copper miner Antofagasta finished in the red after missing estimates with its 2013 earnings as results were hampered by depressed metal prices and by the impact from larger than forecast withholding taxes as a result of a dividend pay-out which was triple analysts estimates.
Supermarket chain J Sainsbury was higher but had also came off its highs after a tougher-than-expected fourth quarter which saw like-for-like sales fall 3.8%.
Cairn Energy fell sharply after widening its annual loss, reflecting unsuccessful exploration costs and the disposal of assets. It also said it is suspending its share buy-back programme.
Outside the FTSE 350, online fashion retailer ASOS was a big mover, sinking sharply after saying that sales growth in the first two months of the year slowed more than expected and margins would be dented by increased spend on warehousing and its new Chinese operations.
Shares of Speedy Hire also tumbled after the equipment and tool rental firm said adjusted pre-tax profit for the year ending March 31st is now expected to be "in the region of £14.5m". This is down from £16.8m the previous year and well under current consensus estimates for a figure of around £17.8m.
FTSE 100 - Risers
BAE Systems (BA.) 407.00p +2.65%
ITV (ITV) 203.00p +2.63%
Barclays (BARC) 236.05p +2.16%
Carnival (CCL) 2,429.00p +2.02%
Schroders (SDR) 2,650.00p +1.96%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 982.50p +1.92%
G4S (GFS) 240.60p +1.86%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,512.00p +1.82%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 939.00p +1.79%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,256.50p +1.75%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 351.00p -5.92%
Fresnillo (FRES) 881.50p -4.65%
Next (NXT) 6,570.00p -2.16%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 829.50p -2.12%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,884.00p -1.71%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,801.00p -1.37%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 850.00p -0.99%
Kingfisher (KGF) 410.60p -0.85%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,625.00p -0.67%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,080.00p -0.37%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Evraz (EVR) 60.45p +9.41%
Henderson Group (HGG) 250.20p +4.82%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 66.80p +3.81%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 147.40p +3.58%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,184.00p +3.26%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 541.50p +3.14%
Bellway (BWY) 1,629.00p +3.10%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 164.20p +2.82%
Interserve (IRV) 660.00p +2.80%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 307.00p +2.78%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cairn Energy (CNE) 167.80p -14.61%
Xaar (XAR) 905.00p -9.27%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 14.10p -6.00%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 186.70p -4.74%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 299.40p -3.33%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 495.00p -3.32%
Keller Group (KLR) 1,026.00p -2.19%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 295.10p -1.99%
888 Holdings (888) 143.60p -1.91%
Hunting (HTG) 828.50p -1.54%