- Markets await non-farm payrolls from the US
- Miners lead risers in London
- Tesco continues its decline
The FTSE 100 was trading at its best levels of the day by Friday lunchtime ahead of a key jobs report from the US, with miners dominating the risers list in London.
"European financial markets have produced mild gains today amid growing optimism that US nonfarm payrolls out this afternoon will exceed market expectations. ADP and weekly jobless claims data this week both bode well for today's payrolls report, raising expectations for a stellar figure today," said market strategist Ishaq Siddiqi from ETX Capital.
Labor Department non-farm payrolls are expected to have increased by 111,000 last month, up from the previous gain of 96,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 8.2% from 8.1%.
The Footsie finished flat yesterday after both the Bank of England (BoE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) left rates unchanged and ECB President Mario Draghi said that the "euro is irreversible".
According to German paper Handelsblatt, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will reduce its global gross domestic product (GPD) growth forecast to 3.3% this year, down from the prior 3.4% estimate. In 2013, growth will accelerate to 3.6%, though still below the prior expectation of a 3.9% rise.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has signalled that his country could not survive beyond November if it isn't granted the next tranche of bailout aid.
Spanish Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos has insisted that his country doesn't need to be bailed out at all as he defended Spain's progress on deficit reduction.
FTSE 100: Mining stocks surge ahead of data
Blue-chip mining stocks were registering impressive gains this morning ahead of the US jobs report: decent figures may ease concerns about the global economy and worries about the demand for commodities. ENRC, Kazakhmys, Vedanta, Evraz, Rio Tinto and Fresnillo were among the risers.
Luxury brand Burberry rose after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to 'overweight' this morning. Engineering group IMI was a high riser after Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Cazenove both reiterated their 'overweight' ratings on the shares.
Oilfield services firm Wood Group was in demand after saying that it is still confident in hitting full-year profit targets, with conditions in energy markets remaining favourable. "We anticipate strong operating cash flow in the second half, and our strong balance sheet provides a robust platform for growth," the group's interim management statement said.
Technology firm Smiths Group was higher after saying that it will launch a $400m bond offering, saying that the funds will be used for general corporate funding purposes and to repay certain existing debt.
Supermarket group Tesco continued to fall, extending losses after its profits disappointed the markets on Wednesday. Shares are now down over 5% on the week. Both Seymour Pierce and Espirito Santo reduced their target prices for the stock this morning.
FTSE 250: KCOM sinks after update
Broadband and communications provider KCOM has performed in line with expectations in the first half of its fiscal year, but shares
sank after it said that orders in its enterprise division have been a bit below expectations.
Utilities services provider Telecom Plus gained after dangling the prospect of a sharply increased interim dividend in front of shareholders' eyes after a first-half surge in profits. With the group's business proving to be less seasonal these days the group is moving towards a more even split between its interim and final dividend payments each year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 332.10p +5.53%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 737.50p +4.39%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,109.00p +4.13%
Evraz (EVR) 253.80p +3.55%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,002.50p +2.72%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,847.00p +2.61%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 831.00p +2.47%
Rexam (REX) 451.30p +2.45%
IMI (IMI) 973.00p +2.31%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 166.00p +2.15%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Tesco (TSCO) 310.05p -2.55%
Old Mutual (OML) 173.80p -1.86%
Next (NXT) 3,550.00p -1.17%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 728.00p -1.09%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 2,344.00p -1.06%
British Land Co (BLND) 516.50p -0.96%
Pennon Group (PNN) 726.50p -0.82%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 278.80p -0.57%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 681.50p -0.51%
Croda International (CRDA) 2,368.00p -0.50%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 521.50p +5.10%
Homeserve (HSV) 224.90p +4.36%
Hunting (HTG) 863.00p +4.35%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 206.50p +4.24%
Supergroup (SGP) 677.50p +3.44%
Bumi (BUMI) 166.20p +3.23%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 437.00p +3.07%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 122.70p +2.94%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 192.20p +2.84%
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 590.00p +2.70%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
KCOM Group (KCOM) 77.60p -8.00%
Atkins (WS) (ATK) 700.50p -3.91%
FirstGroup (FGP) 197.80p -1.40%
Investec (INVP) 383.80p -1.29%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 272.90p -1.12%
Great Portland Estates (GPOR) 445.70p -1.07%
Stagecoach Group (SGC) 289.10p -1.03%
Dialight (DIA) 1,217.00p -0.98%
Pace (PIC) 170.20p -0.93%
JPMorgan Indian Inv Trust (JII) 379.00p -0.92%