- FTSE closes up 28 points, Bunzl leads
- Yellen praised for strong G20 performance
- Eurozone CPI revised slightly higher
techMARK 2,917.47 +0.80%
FTSE 100 6,865.86 +0.41%
FTSE 250 16,539.29 +0.48%
UK stocks got the week off to a decent start, lifted by strong performances from Vodafone and Bunzl, as well as gains over in the US.
The FTSE 100 closed up 27.80 points at 6,865.86.
Sentiment was lifted by developments in Australia as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen smoothed over concerns about the impact of monetary stimulus tapering on emerging markets whilst addressing the Group of 20 Finance Ministers in Sydney over the weekend.
UK oil and gas industry to undergo major revamp
Fast-track plans for a major revamp of the UK oil and gas industry were unveiled today. The recommendations, which are expected to generate "at least" £200bn during the next 20 years, were the work of retired businessman Sir Ian Wood, the former Chairman of energy services giant Wood Group.
His plans address collaboration between the industry and the government, regulation of the industry, as well as maximising production levels and utilising modern technology.
In other news, data indicated British service sector firms got the year off to a good start, although a spending survey showed consumers were still having to shell out more on gas and electricity, fuelling inflation concerns.
In the three months to February, optimism in the consumer sector and in business and professional services increased at its fastest rate since 1998, business lobby group the CBI said.
Eurozone CPI up 0.8%
The Eurozone´s Consumer Price Index for January was revised slightly higher, to reveal a gain of 0.8% year-on-year (consensus: 0.7%). At an 0.8% annualised gain the increase in the 'core' rate was as expected by consensus.
It comes as pressure has been building on the European Central Bank to undertake further stimulus measures to forestall the potential risks from greater than expected disinflation.
Meanwhile, the German Ifo business climate index surprised to the upside this morning, having gained to 111.3 in February. However, the rise was due exclusively to an improvement in the current conditions sub-index.
Bunzl tops risers after strong 2013
Bunzl was at the top of the leaderboard today after revealing its 2013 operating profit had jumped 18% to £414m, boosted by acquisitions, although it warned that adverse exchange rate
movements could hit future earnings if they remained at current levels. Pre-tax profits rose to £372.2m, an increase of 18% on the back of increased revenues of £6.1bn against £5.3bn in 2012. The distribution and outsourcing giant also announced it had acquired businesses in Germany and the Czech Republic.
were higher following the completion of the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless and the attendant share consolidation. The sale has reduced the value of the telecoms giant by nearly £51bn. The firm also announced its intention to redeem approximately £3.5bn of its own notes.
Meanwhile, RSA Insurance was in the red after it issued a statement acknowledging recent press speculation regarding a potential rights issue and stated it was "considering" several options.
Banking giant HSBC was also a big faller after its 2013 profit missed consensus forecasts of $24.6bn after coming in at $22.5bn, although the company did continue to slash costs and jobs in its drive to reduce operating expenses. As a result of the miss, Cannacord Genuity lowered its target price on the lender's shares to 750p from 825p.
Associated British Foods also dropped after the group reported a slump in the Sugar business. Despite the drop, it said it expects first half adjusted operating profit to be in line with 2013 following a strong performance from its Primark stores. The company's revenue and profit from Sugar will be substantially lower than last year, as prices declined. The world sugar price has also fallen to an "unsustainably low level", putting further pressure on industry revenues and margins.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Bunzl (BNZL) 1,585.00p +6.88%
Vodafone (VOD) 252.30p +6.68%
William Hill (WMH) 371.40p +3.92%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,357.00p +3.27%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 325.80p +2.68%
Schroders (SDR) 2,681.00p +2.25%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 868.00p +2.12%
Prudential (PRU) 1,372.00p +2.08%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 941.00p +2.01%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 989.00p +1.96%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 97.50p -3.66%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 635.70p -2.83%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,920.00p -2.44%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 933.00p -2.30%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,516.00p -2.19%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,536.50p -1.79%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,533.50p -1.73%
Pearson (PSON) 1,099.00p -1.26%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,305.00p -0.84%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 333.00p +8.82%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 57.80p +7.84%
Dixons Retail (DXNS) 50.30p +6.66%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 67.20p +3.94%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 140.00p +3.70%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 171.00p +3.57%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,428.00p +3.48%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 362.00p +3.43%
Diploma (DPLM) 756.00p +3.14%
3i Group (III) 416.70p +2.94%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Rightmove (RMV) 2,660.00p -3.41%
Fidessa Group (FDSA) 2,450.00p -3.31%
Grainger (GRI) 239.50p -3.04%
Xaar (XAR) 1,095.00p -3.01%
Evraz (EVR) 80.15p -2.55%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 367.10p -2.52%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 158.90p -2.46%
Workspace Group (WKP) 564.00p -2.17%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 1,517.00p -2.13%
NMC Health (NMC) 447.30p -2.12%