- FTSE 100 hits 14-year intraday high
- Housing stocks lifted by Taylor Wimpey comments
- easyJet, TUI Travel and LSE fall
techMARK 2,802.35 +0.28%
FTSE 100 6,859.54 +0.11%
FTSE 250 16,029.39 +0.30%
UK markets had trimmed gains by Tuesday lunchtime after having hit their highest intraday levels in 14 years, as a strong performance by mining and housing stocks was partly offset by falls from easyJet, TUI Travel and London Stock Exchange.
The FTSE 100 was trading just 0.1% higher at 6,859.54 by midday, pulling back after hitting a high of 6,877.39 early on. Nevertheless, the index still remains within touching distance of the intraday record high of 6,950.6 registered on December 30th 1999.
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500
rose to fresh all-time highs on Wall Street on Monday evening, as a bout of M&A activity helped to offset heightened tensions in Ukraine.
"Equities are showing remarkable resilience shrugging off the geopolitics of Eastern Europe and, it would appear, banking on softer Chinese data making it a given that Beijing weighs in with another batch of stimulus to keep the slowing world #2 economy growing in-line with its targets," said Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets.
Economic figures overnight from China showed that the annual rates of growth in industrial production, fixed asset investment and retail sales all slowed slightly in April.
Investors were also digesting reports from The Wall Street Journal which cited sources saying that the Bundesbank is willing to back an array of stimulus measures next month from the European Central Bank.
In other European news, the ZEW's index for measuring investor and analyst expectations for Germany's economy fell to 33.1 in May from 43.2 the previous month, trailing estimates of 40.
Housing, mining shares
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey gave a bullish outlook on Tuesday with a "new and enhanced set of financial targets" as the housing market goes from strength to strength. The company also said it will return at least £200m of cash per year from 2016 on top of the £50m special dividend in July 2014 and £200m in July 2015.
Others in the sector was also given a boost by the comments, such as Barratt Developments, Persimmon and Crest Nicholson.
Miners were also performing well as risk appetite increased, including blue chips BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American.
Manufacturing conglomerate Melrose gained after trading in the first quarter was in line with expectations with order intake up 3% since the start of the year.
AstraZeneca was also on the rise after reiterating that its defence to an attempted takeover by US rival Pfizer. AstraZeneca said Pfizer is making an "opportunistic attempt [...] without reflecting the value of its exciting pipeline. This value should accrue fully to AstraZeneca shareholders."
Heading the other way was airline easyJet which was flying lower despite narrowing first-half losses by nearly 14% to £53m. "Whilst we remain hugely optimistic about the long-term prospects of this business, in the near term we expect the shares to pause for breath," said Analyst Gert Zonneveld from Panmure Gordon.
Travel and leisure peer TUI Travel was also lower as it said that the pre-tax loss widened 5% to £369m in the first half due to the timing of Easter.
London Stock Exchange dropped after confirming media speculation that it is considering a potential purchase of US asset-management and stock-index group Russell Investments. According to media reports, the group could be fetch a value of $3bn, equating to 10 times earnings.
Investment management and financial planning company Brewin Dolphin fell after saying that it will take a one-off charge of £32m this year after deciding to pull the roll-out of the JHC Figaro software across the group.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 385.20p +2.91%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,390.00p +2.21%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 292.40p +1.81%
GKN (GKN) 383.80p +1.78%
ITV (ITV) 189.90p +1.66%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,235.00p +1.56%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,977.00p +1.49%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,019.00p +1.49%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 334.15p +1.40%
Centrica (CNA) 322.40p +1.38%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
easyJet (EZJ) 1,655.00p -4.34%
TUI Travel (TT.) 431.30p -2.33%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,817.00p -2.05%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 221.10p -1.49%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 438.90p -1.46%
Barclays (BARC) 253.05p -1.40%
Aviva (AV.) 525.50p -1.04%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 860.00p -0.98%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,421.00p -0.91%
William Hill (WMH) 349.40p -0.85%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 113.90p +7.15%
Computacenter (CCC) 666.00p +3.02%
CSR (CSR) 580.50p +2.93%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 334.50p +2.92%
Foxtons Group (FOXT) 313.90p +2.92%
Crest Nicholson Holdings (CRST) 361.40p +2.73%
Fisher (James) & Sons (FSJ) 1,355.00p +2.65%
Pace (PIC) 380.90p +2.39%
Polymetal International (POLY) 580.50p +2.38%
BlackRock World Mining Trust (BRWM) 479.00p +2.31%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Drax Group (DRX) 632.50p -3.21%
Lonmin (LMI) 263.60p -2.80%
Man Group (EMG) 94.85p -2.22%
Brewin Dolphin Holdings (BRW) 320.90p -1.99%
Perform Group (PER) 267.70p -1.98%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 145.20p -1.89%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 1,324.00p -1.71%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 252.40p -1.52%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 1,626.00p -1.39%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 522.00p -1.32%