- FTSE closes up 22.65 at 6,757.77
- UK consumer confidence at nine-year high
- Q1 GDP revised lower
techMARK 2,817.88 +0.56%
FTSE 100 6,757.77 +0.34%
FTSE 250 15,681.46 +0.22%
London-listed stocks rose in this afternoon's trading to end higher, lifted by strong consumer confidence data, a long-awaited merger between TUI Travel and its parent company, and positive broker comments on the housebuilding sector.
The FTSE 100 closed up 22.65 points at 6,757.77, but fell 67.43 points on the week as a whole.
UK consumer confidence hit its highest level in nine years this month, according to GfK's consumer confidence survey, raising the hopes for solid economic growth in the second quarter.
The index increased to 1.0 in June, up from 0 in May.
Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, said the figure was "psychologically important", adding that "the last time the index was consistently positive was back in 2002 and this must be the next 'target' from the government's point of view as we get close to the election period".
The housing sector was driven higher following comments from UBS, which said that the positive fundamentals of the sector remain unchanged despite measures by the Bank of England announced yesterday to cool the housing market.
It believes that while a "policy over-reaction" is undoubtedly the biggest risk to the sector, this risk has already been largely priced into the market and that future intervention will be "gradual and measured".
That came as UK gross domestic product (GDP) figures were this morning revised to show an economic expansion of 3% in the first quarter, compared with the initial estimate of 3.1%, after small changes to historical data. The consensus estimate was for an unchanged reading, while some analysts had expected there to be an upwards revision to 3.2%.
Global data comes in mixed
Over in the States, the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index for June inched higher to 82.5 from a preliminary reading of 81.2 (consensus: 82).
Richard Curtin, the survey's director, said: "Consumers believe the first quarter decline in economic activity was due to the harsh winter weather, and that the economy has already returned to positive economic growth."
Closer to home, Eurozone economic sentiment registered a surprise drop this month as heightened geopolitical tensions weighed on both executive and consumer confidence.
In Germany, the inflation rate in June rose more quickly than anticipated, the first estimate has shown, with consumer prices up 0.3% on a monthly basis and 1.0% on an annual basis.
TUI Travel leads the risers after merger deal
TUI Travel shares
jumped after it announced that it had agreed the terms of a merger between itself and parent company TUI AG, a move that will create the world's "number one integrated leisure tourism business". Under the terms of the agreement, TUI Travel investors would receive 0.399 new TUI AG shares for every TUI Travel share.
Following UBS's comments, Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Travis Perkins were among the house building stocks that all finished firmly higher.
Engine maker Rolls-Royce was rising on rumours that Airbus it close to upgrading its A330 fleet with the Rolls as its sole engine supplier.
Meanwhile, target price cuts from Societe Generale helped to push both Petrofac (1,600p to 1,480p) and Standard Chartered (1,550p to 1,450p) into the red.
The latter was also hit by a 'sell' reiteration from Canaccord Genuity, which cut its own target price from 1,200p to 1,000p.
Publishing peer Reed Elsevier fell after Barclays Capital lowered its recommendation on the stock to 'equal weight' and trimmed its target price from 1,020p to 1,005p.
FTSE 100 - Risers
TUI Travel (TT.) 403.50p +3.46%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 374.50p +3.20%
Aviva (AV.) 512.00p +2.44%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,069.00p +2.20%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,654.00p +1.85%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,540.00p +1.65%
BAE Systems (BA.) 431.60p +1.55%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,278.00p +1.51%
3i Group (III) 405.70p +1.45%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 4,895.00p +1.39%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BG Group (BG.) 1,246.50p -2.20%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,208.00p -1.23%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,459.00p -1.02%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,072.00p -0.92%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,192.50p -0.87%
Pearson (PSON) 1,135.00p -0.79%
Fresnillo (FRES) 855.00p -0.75%
Reed Elsevier (REL) 935.50p -0.74%
CRH (CRH) 1,520.00p -0.72%
GKN (GKN) 367.00p -0.65%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Riverstone Energy Limited (RSE) 960.50p +7.08%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 302.30p +6.82%
Redrow (RDW) 282.30p +5.49%
National Express Group (NEX) 256.90p +3.59%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 113.80p +3.55%
ITE Group (ITE) 231.00p +3.45%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 374.50p +3.22%
Redefine International (RDI) 55.50p +3.16%
Keller Group (KLR) 932.00p +2.98%
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,424.00p +2.71%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 211.70p -5.83%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 218.70p -5.41%
Workspace Group (WKP) 576.50p -2.78%
Perform Group (PER) 228.80p -2.64%
Alent (ALNT) 359.60p -2.23%
Lonmin (LMI) 235.30p -2.20%
Regus (RGU) 180.00p -2.17%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,083.00p -2.08%
RPC Group (RPC) 621.50p -1.97%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 189.40p -1.97%