- FTSE 100 rebounds from worst level in eight weeks
- Oil, housing stocks provide a lift
- Markets focus on non-farm payrolls ahead of Fed meeting
techMARK 2,657.20 +0.34%
FTSE 100 6,536.26 +0.58%
FTSE 250 15,210.58 +0.35%
Strong gains in oil and housing sectors were providing a lift in London on Friday morning with the FTSE 100 rebounding after hitting an eight-week low the previous session, as bargain hunters stepped in ahead to some key economic data out from the States this afternoon.
"The caution felt in equity markets in the early part of the week has dissipated somewhat this morning, with European investors today manifesting a degree of confidence that the bullish run is not yet over," said Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist at IG.
London's benchmark index closed Thursday's session at 6,498.33, its lowest level since October 11th. Stocks have fallen for five straight days on the back of heightened speculation that the Federal Reserve will soon begin to pare its asset purchase programme amid signs of a stronger economic recovery.
In particular, data released during yesterday's session showed a sharp drop in jobless claims, an upwards revision to third-quarter US economic growth and a less-than-expected decline in factory orders.
Meanwhile, comments from regional Fed bank presidents continue to be closely watched ahead of the central bank's policy meeting on December 17-18th. Dennis Lockhart of the Atlanta Fed said on Thursday that "consideration" of tapering should be "on the table" at the Fed's meeting later this month.
The remarks come ahead of the official jobs report this afternoon, which will likely be a key factor in the Fed's decision. The data is expected to reveal a 183,000 increase in non-farm payrolls for November, below the 204,000 gain in October, though the unemployment rate is forecast to fall from 7.3% to 7.2%.
Petrofac gains as bargain hunters step in
Oilfield services group Petrofac was a high riser this morning, rebounding after some heavy falls on concerns about guidance at its investor day on Thursday. "Having hit a two-year low yesterday on rumours that management was reducing long-term earnings forecasts, Petrofac has been besieged by bargain-hunters this morning," said Kelly from IG.
Other oil stocks were also providing a lift today after HSBC reportedly raised its forecast for Brent oil prices
for next year. Tullow, BP, BG and Shell were among the best performers. Shell was making headlines this morning after ditching plans to build a $20bn gas-to-liquids plant in the US, saying it was "not a viable option".
Berkeley Group's shares
surged after reporting a 19.2% rise in first-half profits of £169.2m in the first half, driven by strong demand in the housing sector.
Others in the housing sector were also making gains this morning, including Persimmon, Bovis Homes, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey.
Telecoms group Vodafone rose after analysts at Berenberg upgraded their rating on the stock to 'buy' and lifted their target price from 233p to 265p. Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange gained after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its stance to 'buy'.
Pizza delivery group Domino's fell sharply after announcing its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lance Batchelor is stepping down. Batchelor, who has been CEO since December 2011, is leaving to join an undisclosed private equity backed company in a non-competing sector.
Sector peer AstraZeneca edged higher after saying that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation to its nasally administered four-strain flu vaccine Fluenz Tetra.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,202.00p +4.34%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,157.00p +2.91%
Tullow Oil (TLW) 906.50p +2.31%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 807.50p +2.28%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,058.00p +2.21%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,614.00p +2.02%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,176.00p +1.91%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 290.60p +1.79%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,707.00p +1.79%
IMI (IMI) 1,447.00p +1.54%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,478.00p -1.53%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 101.60p -1.45%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 4,772.00p -1.30%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 358.50p -1.24%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,311.00p -1.02%
BAE Systems (BA.) 413.50p -1.01%
Admiral Group (ADM) 1,198.00p -0.99%
Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) 469.70p -0.97%
Whitbread (WTB) 3,520.00p -0.73%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,653.00p -0.54%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Berkeley Group Holdings (The) (BKG) 2,466.00p +8.06%
Xaar (XAR) 1,070.00p +4.70%
FirstGroup (FGP) 116.00p +4.41%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 837.50p +3.78%
Perform Group (PER) 414.00p +3.50%
Polymetal International (POLY) 494.00p +3.50%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 802.00p +3.48%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 43.81p +2.84%
Barratt Developments (BDEV) 333.40p +2.68%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 108.80p +2.64%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 507.00p -4.16%
PayPoint (PAY) 990.00p -2.56%
Premier Farnell (PFL) 210.30p -2.32%
Partnership Assurance Group (PA.) 301.20p -2.05%
Halfords Group (HFD) 478.70p -2.05%
Chemring Group (CHG) 200.90p -2.00%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 994.00p -1.88%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 139.30p -1.76%
Spirent Communications (SPT) 104.30p -1.70%
Debenhams (DEB) 88.90p -1.66%