- FTSE closes up 37.18 points
- Miners rise on JPMorgan Chase
- CBI ups outlook for GDP
techMARK 2,794.57 +0.44%
FTSE 100 6,851.75 +0.55%
FTSE 250 15,981.35 +0.61%
Miners lifted the FTSE firmly higher today, getting the week off to a positive start despite the latest developments in Eastern Europe.
The FTSE 100 closed up 37.18 points at 6,851.75.
The mining sector was driven upwards by comments from JPMorgan Chase & Co which upgraded its rating for the European mining sector from 'underweight' to 'overweight' on the back of falling costs and improving demand from China. A good performance on Chinese markets overnight also provided a lift.
However, upside was limited by developments over the weekend in Ukraine where regional referendums were held to vote on a declaration of 'self-rule'. Donetsk voters have backed a plan to break away from Ukraine but governments in Kiev, the US and the European Union (EU) have said the referendum was illegal.
Ukraine will hold presidential elections on May 25th.
"Weekend developments in Ukraine remain a concern for market participants who are currently managing risk appetite appropriately by not putting all their chips on the table," said analysts at ETX Capital earlier today.
Hiring intentions in UK near seven-year high, pay expectations steady
Back in the UK, the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development's (CIPD) Spring 2014 Labour Market Outlook net employment balance increased to +26 from the reading of +16 in the Winter 2013/14 report. That was the highest score since autumn 2007.
Median pay expectations, excluding bonuses, however, were unchanged at 2%.
That came as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned that despite its expectations the economy should expand by more than previously forecast this year, it believes lawmakers risk derailing the recovery with political wrangling and short-termism.
UK gross domestic product (GDP) should grow by 3% in 2014, up from a previous prediction of 2.6%, according to forecasts by the CBI. However, it said political uncertainty and whims pose a major risk to the revival.
Rio Tinto on JPMorgan comments
Rio Tinto was in the lead after JPMorgan named it a top pick, alongside BHP Billiton, while others such as Antofagasta, Fresnillo and Anglo American were also making strong gains.
easyJet was also flying higher following a downbeat performance at the end of last week and ahead of its half-year results tomorrow.
Meanwhile, BSkyB fell after saying that it is in talks with 21st Century Fox regarding the potential acquisition of the latter's pay-TV assets in Germany and Italy, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. Analysts said that shareholders may be disappointed that a bid from Fox for BSkyB itself did not materialise.
Meanwhile, an announcement made today that Virgin Media has extended its relationship with Sky for a further five years pushed BT shares
firmly into the red.
A statement released by Virgin Media read: "With Sky customers needing to have a separate contract with BT to watch BT Sport, and BT customers unable to watch the majority of the Sky Sports channels, Virgin Media is THE place for what promises to be a major summer of sport."
Also in the red Barclays, which was today hit with the news several of its former bank executives are reportedly set to be questioned by the Serious Fraud Office over dealings with Qatar.
Ex-chief executives Bob Diamond and John Varley, along with other former senior members of management, will be grilled by the regulator, according to the Financial Times.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,340.00p +4.75%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 796.00p +3.51%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,218.00p +3.48%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,948.00p +2.72%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,730.00p +2.67%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 909.50p +2.65%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,040.00p +2.36%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,641.50p +2.34%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 393.80p +2.29%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 227.20p +2.16%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 868.50p -2.42%
BT Group (BT.A) 374.30p -2.14%
Barclays (BARC) 256.65p -1.35%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 759.50p -1.17%
ITV (ITV) 186.80p -1.16%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,434.00p -1.10%
Kingfisher (KGF) 415.60p -1.09%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 224.45p -1.01%
Tesco (TSCO) 293.95p -0.98%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 287.20p -0.86%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Perform Group (PER) 273.10p +7.82%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 968.00p +6.73%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,347.00p +6.31%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 145.00p +3.94%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 198.40p +3.71%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 127.50p +3.66%
Aveva Group (AVV) 2,272.00p +3.56%
Interserve (IRV) 690.00p +3.53%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 146.50p +3.46%
Synthomer (SYNT) 267.00p +3.09%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Supergroup (SGP) 1,065.00p -5.33%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,320.00p -5.17%
Lonmin (LMI) 271.20p -4.07%
Debenhams (DEB) 79.00p -3.19%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 182.90p -2.24%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 305.00p -2.21%
Infinis Energy (INFI) 204.70p -1.87%
Dairy Crest Group (DCG) 460.50p -1.79%
Diploma (DPLM) 678.00p -1.74%
National Express Group (NEX) 274.30p -1.72%