- Burberry jumps after Q1 sales growth
- Anglo American lifted by UBS upgrade
- Credit Suisse prefers life insurers over P&Cs
- World Bank raises 2014 growth forecasts
techMARK 2,830.56 +0.43%
FTSE 100 6,791.80 +0.37%
FTSE 250 16,254.51 +0.11%
Stocks rose to an eight-month high on Wednesday morning as strong gains from Burberry, Anglo American and a number of insurers boosted markets.
The FTSE 100 was continuing to trade just below the 6,800 level this morning. Come midday it was 0.4% higher on the day at around 6,790, a level it has not closed above since May 22nd 2013 when it reached 6,840.27.
Sentiment was also lifted by an upwards revision to 2014 global growth forecasts by the World Bank, which expects the world's economy to expand by 3.2% this year. This is an acceleration from the 2.4% growth in 2013 and higher than its June forecast for 2014 growth of 3%.
However, the organisation did raise concerns regarding rising interest rates and singled out the withdrawal of stimulus by the US Federal Reserve as a specific worry.
Investors' attention is likely to turn towards the US this afternoon, with stock futures on Wall Street pointing firmly higher ahead of the latest quarterly results from the banking sector; Bank of America is due to report before the opening bell.
"Yesterday's results from Wells Fargo and JPMorgan got us off to a decent start for the banks, minus one-off legal costs for the latter, and the figures are likely to be in focus on a day otherwise light in economic data," said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets.
Burberry jumps after sales update, Anglo American upgraded
High-end fashion brand Burberry surged this morning after reporting a better-than-expected 14% rise in retail sales in the third quarter, helped by double-digit growth in its key Asia-Pacific region.
Diversified mining firm Anglo American was also a high riser after analysts at UBS upgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'buy', saying that the risk-reward balance is more "compelling" after recent weakness. The bank said: "Anglo has underperformed the other diversified miners by 18% over the last three months, and, in our opinion, the valuation now looks attractive."
Meanwhile, Standard Life was higher after Credit Suisse lifted the shares
to 'outperform', highlighting its preference for life insurers over property and casualty (P&C) firms. As such, the bank also maintained its positive stance towards Prudential and Aviva, giving both stocks a lift this morning.
SSE and Centrica were suffering from the effects of a broker downgrade today after Barclays Capital lowered both names to 'underweight', saying that the stocks "still trade on premium valuations" despite recent underperformance.
Iron ore group Ferrexpo was also under pressure this morning after being cut from 'buy' to 'neutral' by UBS "due to the elevated political risk in the Ukraine".
Financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown was a heavy faller after saying it will need to increase its assets under management by £3.5bn over three years to cover the anticipated revenue shortfall resulting from the changes made to its pricing model under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
UK manufacturer Fenner also slumped after a mixed first-quarter trading update, which said that results in the Advanced Engineered Products (AEP) arm will be "slightly more weighted" in the second half, reflecting the deferral of customer sales.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,540.00p +4.83%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,322.00p +4.71%
G4S (GFS) 258.40p +3.32%
Standard Life (SL.) 386.30p +2.44%
Prudential (PRU) 1,376.00p +1.93%
Schroders (SDR) 2,593.00p +1.81%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 376.30p +1.81%
TUI Travel (TT.) 428.80p +1.78%
WPP (WPP) 1,386.00p +1.61%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,129.00p +1.53%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,451.00p -3.78%
SSE (SSE) 1,301.00p -3.56%
Centrica (CNA) 316.60p -3.18%
Fresnillo (FRES) 687.50p -3.17%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,186.00p -2.97%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,751.00p -2.37%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 353.00p -1.84%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 245.90p -1.56%
Unilever (ULVR) 2,382.00p -1.28%
easyJet (EZJ) 1,674.00p -1.24%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 188.40p +3.29%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 118.30p +3.23%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 169.70p +2.72%
Jupiter Fund Management (JUP) 389.90p +2.50%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 199.30p +2.15%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 169.40p +1.93%
Spectris (SXS) 2,505.00p +1.91%
Homeserve (HSV) 308.20p +1.75%
SIG (SHI) 214.70p +1.71%
Carphone Warehouse Group (CPW) 273.40p +1.71%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 169.90p -3.85%
Fenner (FENR) 441.40p -3.03%
Polymetal International (POLY) 514.00p -3.02%
CSR (CSR) 675.00p -2.88%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 742.50p -2.50%
Debenhams (DEB) 83.25p -2.40%
888 Holdings (888) 160.20p -1.96%
Lonmin (LMI) 302.50p -1.94%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,600.00p -1.92%
Diploma (DPLM) 696.50p -1.90%