- Putin says seeks to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine
- Finnish Prime Minister says EU not preparing further sanctions against Russia
- France tosses out 2014 deficit reduction target
techMARK 2,749.57 +0.40%
FTSE 100 6,685.26 +0.43%
FTSE 250 15,675.56 +0.95%
Stocks ended the session slightly higher after Russian President Vladimir Putin signalled he seeks to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine. In parallel, Finland's Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb, stated that the European Union is not considering further sanctions against Russia.
However, Stubb also said he as "a feeling that we are at gates of cold war again". In parallel, Ukraine's parliament adopted legislation permitting halts on the transit of Russian energy supplies to the European Union through its territory.
To take note of oil futures
fell sharply following reports that the west is preparing to better arm Kurdish fighters in Iraq.
Front month Brent crude futures dropped 2.015% to $102.22/barrel on the ICE.
Weak German GDP data
Earlier in the day the German finance ministry revealed that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by two tenths of a percentage point during the second quarter, instead of by 0.1%, as economists had expected. In parallel, France's economy stagnated over the three months to the end of June, prompting the country's Finance Minister to cut the growth target for this year to just 0.5%, from 1% beforehand, in effect tossing out this year's deficit reduction goal.
"Overall, the numbers reinforce our view that the Eurozone economy remains too weak either to tackle the periphery's debt problems or to eliminate the dangers of deflation. As such, we still believe that the ECB needs to implement further policy action - probably in the form of full-scale quantitative easing - to try to bring the euro down and re-ignite the recovery," Capital Economics' Jonathan Loynes wrote to clients in reaction to the data.
London house market coming off the boil? Sterling lower
In UK data, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) latest survey data revealed the largest slowdown in the number of inquiries from home buyers in the capital in six years.
Not by chance, and following Wednesday's quarterly Inflation Report, economists at Societe Generale now see the first increase in Bank Rate arriving in the first quarter of 2015, instead of in the last three months of 2014.
Reacting to those changes in the immediate outlook for monetary policy in Britain, cable is flirting with its so-called 200-day moving average, which may herald further falls if lost.
British Land and TUI AG lead gains
British Land rose on the back of a recommendation upgrade out of analysts at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
TUI Travel was at the head of the advances by noon. Speaking to Bloomberg TV majority shareholder TUI AG's chief executive said there is "no plan B" when it comes to a merger between both companies.
Shares of commodity trader Glencore were trading near the bottom of the pile on the Footsie after broker Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to 'neutral'. Its analysts see the company facing three headwinds: fading commodity momentum, lower than expected earnings growth and valuation concerns given the premium at which the shares
trade relative to peers.
Ophir Energy swung to a half-year profit as the oil and gas company sold assets in Tanzania. The group reported a pre-tax profit from continuing operating operations of $589,436 for the six months to end of June 2014, compared to a loss of $19,374 over the same period a year earlier. The firm divested a 20% interest in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 in Tanzania to Pavilion Energy for $1.25bn with a final $38m payable on the final divestment decision. Proceeds will be used to fund other exploration projects.
Carillion was another high riser. On Thursday the company piled pressure on rival Balfour Beatty to resume merger talks by revealing that it had held meetings with several of Balfour's major shareholders. The construction group said it had told the investors that the merger could save at least £175m a year by the end of 2016, enhancing earnings "significantly" from then.
Real estate linked stocks such as Foxtons, Rightmove or CSR were on the move in the aftermath of the Bank of England's latest Inflation Report, which led markets to scale back their expectations for interest rate hikes this year. On Thursday analysts at Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch upgraded their recommendation on shares of real estate investment trusts British Land and Land Securities to 'buy' from 'neutral'.
Egyptian gold miner Centamin unveiled a maiden interim dividend of 0.87 cents a share despite reporting a dip in profits for the second quarter as the cost of production rose. The company said it is to pay out a total of $10m to shareholders. Chairman Josef El-Raghy said that with no further major expansion projects planned at Centamin's flagship Sukari project, he now sees "solid growth potential and a stable balance sheet". He added: "We now look forward to a sustained period of strong free cash flow generation".
FTSE 100 - Risers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,144.00p +3.16%
British Land Co (BLND) 724.50p +2.48%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,082.00p +2.26%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,090.00p +2.25%
TUI Travel (TT.) 369.70p +2.16%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,078.00p +2.08%
HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 651.40p +2.05%
CRH (CRH) 1,420.00p +1.94%
Intu Properties (INTU) 336.70p +1.88%
Royal Mail (RMG) 443.60p +1.74%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,330.00p -2.99%
G4S (GFS) 266.60p -2.52%
Kingfisher (KGF) 295.70p -1.86%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,376.00p -1.39%
Glencore (GLEN) 360.65p -1.33%
Friends Life Group Limited (FLG) 308.30p -1.22%
Next (NXT) 6,805.00p -0.87%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 2,025.50p -0.69%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,448.00p -0.62%
Barclays (BARC) 218.00p -0.62%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Carillion (CLLN) 346.80p +8.38%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 211.70p +6.65%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 602.50p +5.52%
SIG (SHI) 177.90p +5.20%
Xaar (XAR) 587.00p +4.63%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 266.50p +4.63%
Derwent London (DLN) 2,799.00p +4.56%
Rightmove (RMV) 2,412.00p +3.92%
CSR (CSR) 530.50p +3.51%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 1,070.00p +3.38%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 69.90p -6.17%
Perform Group (PER) 207.00p -3.72%
AO World (AO.) 201.60p -2.28%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 397.80p -1.78%
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 185.80p -1.75%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 83.00p -1.54%
Merlin Entertainments (MERL) 333.00p -1.48%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,025.00p -1.25%
Just Retirement Group (JRG) 145.80p -1.09%
Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) 278.20p -1.03%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Vectura Group (VEC) 140.00p +2.19%
Anite (AIE) 92.75p +1.64%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 16.62p +1.53%
Skyepharma (SKP) 242.00p +1.47%
Puricore (PURI) 41.00p +1.23%
Optos (OPTS) 195.25p +1.03%
Kofax Limited (DI) (KFX) 477.00p +0.95%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 892.00p +0.79%
SDL (SDL) 339.50p +0.59%
Sepura (SEPU) 145.50p +0.52%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Torotrak (TRK) 17.00p -2.86%
Promethean World (PRW) 29.25p -1.68%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 88.00p -1.12%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 152.50p -0.97%
Gresham Computing (GHT) 115.00p -0.22%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 234.25p -0.05%