- Cable urges BoE to raise interest rates
- Strong on-line sales at John Lewis in latest week
- US data releases in focus
techMARK 2,738.07 +0.03%
FTSE 100 6,625.19 +0.28%
FTSE 250 15,629.66 -0.04%
The FTSE 100 was holding moderately higher come midday following a strong close to trading Stateside last week and despite another move higher in Chinese short-term interest rates over the weekend, which Beijing is playing down.
With no economic data releases in the UK, attention will turn to the US for reports on personal consumption, personal income and the University of Michigan's confidence survey figures due out later this afternoon.
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 has 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.
However, he noted that increasing the rate could hurt manufacturing as it would affect exchange rates
and impact exports.
Of interest, 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.
Hochschild Mining advanced after completing the acquisition of a 40% stake in Pallancata mine and Inmaculada Advanced Project in Peru from International Minerals Corporation.
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.
Cruise operator Carnival rallied after the cruise operator reported better-than-expected trading conditions last week.
Persimmon slumped after Deutsche Bank reiterated a 'hold' rating on the homebuilder.
Royal Mail Group was off slightly on its first day of trading as a constituent of the top flight index.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Carnival (CCL) 2,454.00p +2.72%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 1,094.00p +2.43%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 474.10p +1.89%
Resolution Ltd. (RSL) 345.40p +1.56%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,703.00p +1.55%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,339.00p +1.52%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,170.00p +1.39%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 290.80p +1.39%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,980.00p +1.38%
Schroders (SDR) 2,537.00p +1.36%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 3,719.00p -1.22%
Fresnillo (FRES) 688.50p -1.22%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 442.20p -0.63%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,457.00p -0.55%
BT Group (BT.A) 374.80p -0.53%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,445.00p -0.48%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,304.00p -0.29%
CRH (CRH) 1,502.00p -0.27%
National Grid (NG.) 785.00p -0.25%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 305.70p -0.23%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Halfords Group (HFD) 456.60p +4.80%
Greggs (GRG) 434.00p +4.58%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 71.25p +4.55%
Chemring Group (CHG) 212.75p +3.78%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 41.50p +3.39%
Dialight (DIA) 839.00p +3.20%
Pace (PIC) 317.80p +2.38%
Serco Group (SRP) 482.90p +2.31%
Hochschild Mining (HOC) 126.00p +2.27%
Countrywide (CWD) 552.50p +2.03%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Polymetal International (POLY) 479.90p -2.68%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 19.02p -2.46%
Rank Group (RNK) 128.00p -1.92%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,400.00p -1.79%
Renishaw (RSW) 1,839.00p -1.71%
Synthomer (SYNT) 247.90p -1.71%
Senior (SNR) 303.80p -1.46%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 128.60p -1.46%
Carillion (CLLN) 317.40p -1.46%
Entertainment One Limited (ETO) 260.00p -1.40%