- Stocks at highest level since January 24th
- Markets awaiting Yellen, Draghi and Carney
- Precious metal producers jump, Barclays gains ahead of FY results tomorrow
- Energy companies come under criticism from MPs
techMARK 2,806.76 +0.59%
FTSE 100 6,591.55 +0.30%
FTSE 250 15,910.72 +0.29%
The UK stock market finished with small gains on Monday afternoon after a rangebound session, with little in the way of corporate earnings and economic data to direct stocks.
The FTSE 100 finished 19.87 points or 0.3% higher at 6,591.55, with just 30 points of so separating its intraday low and high.
Nevertheless, this was still the index's highest closing level since January 24th when it reached 6,663.74.
"Traders are slowing gaining confidence in equity markets as bullish behaviour returns in the wake of the emerging markets panic sell-off, but there is still a feeling that we are not out of the woods yet," said David Madden, Market Analyst at IG.
US stocks opened broadly flat this afternoon as investors showed caution ahead of Janet Yellen's first report on monetary policy as the new Federal Reserve Chair tomorrow.
Markets will be eager to gauge Yellen's thoughts on the Fed's staged withdrawal of stimulus after she took over from former Chair Ben Bernanke this month.
Speeches from central bankers Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank and Mark Carney of the Bank of the England later this week were also giving investors reason to tread lightly today.
Precious metals gain, Barclays leads banks higher
Mining stocks were among the best performers on the FTSE 100 on Monday with precious metal producer Fresnillo jumping nearly 10% as gold and silver prices advanced. African Barrick Gold and Randgold also rose strongly.
Barclays was making gains despite claims that confidential details of clients had been stolen and sold. Investors were also shrugging off a surprise statement from the bank this morning which said that adjusted pre-tax profits would total £5.2bn in 2013, below current consensus forecasts.
Banking peers Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered were also higher; though HSBC fell in afternoon trade.
British Gas owner Centrica was among the fallers after the UK's Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, raised concerns about profit margins at the country's largest energy companies. He has urged Ofgem to start an investigation into the sector and made a number of suggestions, including "a break-up of any companies found to have monopoly power to the detriment of the consumer".
Utilities provider SSE was also feeling the impact, following Centrica lower.
Securities solutions firm G4S was weighed down by a ratings cut by Panmure Gordon to 'sell', with the broker saying that the stock's current high valuation is unwarranted given its growth outlook.
Meanwhile, oilfield services company Petrofac rose after HSBC upgraded the stock to 'overweight', and set-top box maker Pace was also lifted to 'overweight' by Barclays Capital.
Technology company Smiths Group fell late on after saying that Srini Seshadri will step down as the President of its Medical division next month after years on the job.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Fresnillo (FRES) 862.50p +8.83%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,232.00p +3.10%
Amec (AMEC) 1,073.00p +2.98%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 300.40p +2.49%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,530.00p +2.40%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 916.00p +2.23%
Capita (CPI) 1,014.00p +1.86%
Pearson (PSON) 1,114.00p +1.83%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 363.90p +1.51%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 356.20p +1.45%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,304.00p -3.62%
G4S (GFS) 229.00p -2.59%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 1,342.00p -1.83%
Centrica (CNA) 308.90p -1.69%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 102.50p -1.63%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,810.00p -1.30%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,386.00p -1.21%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 423.50p -1.12%
Next (NXT) 6,235.00p -1.11%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,709.00p -1.10%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Pace (PIC) 385.50p +7.74%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 238.50p +6.66%
Rank Group (RNK) 147.10p +4.70%
Catlin Group Ltd. (CGL) 560.00p +3.70%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 744.50p +2.69%
Lonmin (LMI) 317.00p +2.59%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 669.00p +2.45%
Countrywide (CWD) 594.50p +2.24%
Hellermanntyton Group (HTY) 298.90p +2.19%
Marston's (MARS) 149.60p +2.12%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
RPS Group (RPS) 307.40p -4.53%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 56.55p -3.17%
Perform Group (PER) 225.00p -3.02%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,230.00p -2.71%
Redrow (RDW) 320.70p -2.08%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.52 -1.96%
Grainger (GRI) 226.30p -1.95%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 146.00p -1.82%
ITE Group (ITE) 269.00p -1.57%
LondonMetric Property (LMP) 140.00p -1.55%