- Cable calls attention to rising house prices in London and South East
- John Lewis sees sales pick up in latest week
- Economists react positively to personal spending US data
techMARK 2,761.72 +0.89%
FTSE 100 6,678.61 +1.09%
FTSE 250 15,741.67 +0.67%
The Footsie registered a large rise on the next-to-last trading session before Christmas, tracking gains on Wall Street on Monday and from last Friday evening, albeit on greatly reduced trading volumes due to the upcoming holiday.
That came despite another move higher in Chinese short-term interest rates overnight, which Beijing played down.
Economic data released Stateside on Monday came in slightly mixed but economists chose to centre on the pick-up seen in personal consumption spending.
For its part, Barclays Research explained to clients that: "[...] These are two of the strongest monthly readings for personal consumption in over a year and are consistent with our expectation that household spending would strengthen in quarter four and 2014 as the effects of the tax increases fade and household balance sheets are strengthened by employment gains and wealth effects."
Also in the US, the International Monetary Fund said it is raising its growth outlook for the world's biggest economy as a budget deal in Washington and the Federal Reserve's plan to reduce its bond buying eased doubts about the future.
On this side of the Pond, Business Secretary Vince Cable on Sunday warned that interest rates my need to rise to constrain a housing boom in London and the south-east.
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, he said there was a risk that large parts of London could be inhabited only by foreigners and bankers as house prices accelerated unless the Bank of England (BoE) raises interest rates.
Nevertheless, he noted that increasing the rate could hurt manufacturing as it would affect exchange rates
and impact exports.
For his part, and in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the Bank´s Deputy Governor, Andrew Bailey, emphasised that: "We are very focused on the housing market [...] We don't think that at this stage the situation is out of control. We have laid out the tools that we can use. The thing I stress is that we will use those tools."
Also in UK news, analysts at N+1 Singer on Friday commented on the preliminary weekly sales data out of John Lewis showing a strong 2.7% rise in like-for-like sales for the week ending on Saturday 21st, as consumers rushed to buy following subdued activity over the last two weeks. Online sales were particularly strong, gaining by 31%.
Even so, and as far as the General Retail sector is concerned, the broker pointed out that it is currently trading on an average 2014 calendar year price-to-earnings multiple of 16.7 and EV/EBITDA ratio of 10, for an approximately 11% premium versus historical valuations. "Earnings quality has improved markedly since the crisis began," the broker added.
ARM Holdings, Royal Mail
ARM Holdings, which designs chips for Apple's iPhones, jumped after Apple struck a deal to sell the smartphone through China Mobile.
Cruise operator Carnival continued to rally after the cruise operator reported better-than-expected trading conditions last week. Nevertheless, the stock continues to move within a broad sideways movement, technical analysts at Sharecast pointed out.
Serco Group gained after securing a six-month extension to its contract with the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for the provision of detention services at immigration detention centres (IDC) and alternative places of detention (APOD) on mainland Australia and Christmas Island.
Persimmon slumped after Deutsche Bank reiterated a 'hold' rating on the homebuilder. For their part, analysts at Jefferies raised their target price for shares
of Berkeley Group - to 2,459.00p from 2,398.00p - albeit while pointing out that they see better value opportunities in Barratt Developments, Taylor Wimpey and Bovis.
Hochschild Mining advanced after completing the acquisition of a 40% stake in Pallancata mine and Inmaculada Advanced Project in Peru from International Minerals Corporation.
Royal Mail Group was off slightly on its first day of trading as a constituent of the top flight index. Vedanta ended the say slightly higher on its own first day of trading on the junior FTSE 250 index following its ouster from the FTSE 100.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ARM Holdings (ARM) 1,110.00p +3.93%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 480.10p +3.18%
Carnival (CCL) 2,464.00p +3.14%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 3,051.00p +2.69%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,351.00p +2.43%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,182.00p +2.43%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 812.50p +2.33%
G4S (GFS) 254.60p +2.29%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 292.90p +2.13%
Schroders (SDR) 2,555.00p +2.08%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Royal Mail (RMG) 580.00p -1.86%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 764.50p -1.16%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,459.00p -0.41%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,751.00p -0.37%
Kingfisher (KGF) 383.90p -0.29%
BT Group (BT.A) 376.50p -0.08%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,326.00p -0.08%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 717.50p -0.07%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 42.25p +5.26%
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 169.30p +4.38%
Halfords Group (HFD) 452.60p +3.88%
Polymetal International (POLY) 511.50p +3.73%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 70.50p +3.45%
Countrywide (CWD) 560.00p +3.42%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 873.50p +2.95%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,903.00p +2.92%
Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) 108.50p +2.84%
Serco Group (SRP) 485.20p +2.80%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,344.00p -10.04%
Synthomer (SYNT) 245.50p -2.66%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 271.60p -2.30%
Senior (SNR) 302.50p -1.88%
PayPoint (PAY) 1,000.00p -1.86%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 259.10p -1.74%
Ted Baker (TED) 2,222.00p -1.59%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 520.50p -1.42%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 128.70p -1.38%
Go-Ahead Group (GOG) 1,760.00p -1.23%