Stocks across Europe rose strongly on Tuesday afternoon with London's FTSE 100 rising to a five-month high following a worse-than-expected US jobs report which spurred hopes of a near-term continuation of quantitative easing (QE) by the Federal Reserve.
"The full impact of the government shutdown is still unknown, and while that remains the case, don't expect the Federal Open Market Committee to start turning off America's QE taps when it meets later this month," said Marcus Bullus, Trading Director at MB Capital.
After a tentative start, the FTSE 100 advanced 41.46 points to 6,695.66, its highest closing high since May 28th when it closed at 6,762.01.
Non-farm payrolls increased by just 148,000 in September, according to the US data this afternoon which was delayed by over two weeks due to the prolonged government shutdown. The consensus forecast was for a much bigger increase of 180,000.
While the unemployment rate fell from 7.3% to 7.2%, the data reinforced speculation that the Fed will refrain from tapering stimulus until next year, given that that the survey was taken before the fiscal stand-off in Washington which is said to have weighed heavily on economic growth.
Analyst Michael Gapen from Barclays said the report was on the "soft side" and that the recent pace of job growth is "unlikely to satisfy [Fed] policymakers". He said that the data reduces the likelihood of the Fed scaling back of stimulus in the near future, as he pushed back his forecast for the first taper of asset purchases to March 2014, from his previous prediction December 2013.
Earnings impress, miners gain
Household products group Reckitt Benckiser was a high riser after lifting its 2013 revenue growth guidance to "at least 6%" following a strong third quarter and a decent performance by recent acquisitions.
BHP Billiton was also in demand after the world's largest miner raised its estimate for annual iron ore production whilst maintaining guidance for oil, copper and coal output.
Engineering firm GKN advanced after a 16% increase in group sales to £1.87bn and a 34% jump in profits in the third quarter, helped by a good performance from its auto and commercial aerospace divisions.
Mining stocks were also providing a lift in London today as metals prices advanced across the board on the back of a weaker US dollar. Precious metals peers Randgold and Fresnillo were rising strongly by the close.
After swinging between gains and losses, chip designer ARM Holdings finished firmly in the red as investors gave a mixed reaction to third-quarter figures despite a strong 36% jump in pre-tax profits to £92.6m.
Whitbread finished broadly flat despite interim earnings rising ahead of expectations as its Premier Inns hotels and Costa coffee shops continued to grab market share. Total sales rose 12.2% in the first half.
SSE was lower after Ofgem banned energy suppliers from increasing prices on fixed-term tariffs in a bid to create a "simpler, clearer and fairer" energy market for customers.
Meanwhile, airline peers IAG and easyJet were dampened after profit guidance from German group Deutsche Lufthansa disappointed analysts due to higher costs from its Score restructuring programme.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,734.00p +5.20%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,950.50p +4.11%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,665.00p +3.97%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,006.00p +2.86%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 362.00p +2.52%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 426.40p +2.30%
Carnival (CCL) 2,141.00p +2.20%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,503.00p +2.04%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,522.00p +1.77%
GKN (GKN) 368.80p +1.74%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
ARM Holdings (ARM) 1,004.00p -3.37%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 706.50p -1.88%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,227.00p -1.84%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,336.00p -1.62%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 359.00p -1.48%
ITV (ITV) 192.10p -1.08%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 980.00p -1.01%
Kingfisher (KGF) 373.80p -0.98%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 857.00p -0.87%
Shire Plc (SHP) 2,493.00p -0.87%
FTSE 250 - Risers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 167.00p +5.23%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 419.80p +3.96%
Supergroup (SGP) 1,148.00p +3.52%
Ted Baker (TED) 1,754.00p +3.48%
esure Group (ESUR) 238.60p +3.38%
Polymetal International (POLY) 614.00p +3.02%
ITE Group (ITE) 299.70p +2.57%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 121.70p +2.53%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 262.00p +2.38%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 885.00p +2.19%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
UBM (UBM) 687.50p -7.59%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 120.90p -3.28%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 51.85p -2.63%
888 Holdings (888) 167.40p -2.62%
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 355.00p -2.26%
Beazley (BEZ) 219.00p -2.19%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 21.77p -2.16%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 287.20p -2.15%
Moneysupermarket.com Group (MONY) 156.30p -2.13%
Bovis Homes Group (BVS) 788.00p -1.93%